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Local media say ex-Japanese prime minister is showing no vital signs after being shot in the western city of Nara.
Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has been taken to hospital after apparently being shot during a campaign speech in the western city of Nara, according to media reports.
The NHK broadcaster, citing the local fire department, said on Friday that Abe “is showing no vital signs”.
Japanese police told local media Abe appeared to have been shot from behind with a shotgun. He collapsed at around 11:30am (02:30 GMT).
NHK said its reporter on the scene heard “something that sounded like a gunshot and saw Abe bleeding”.
Sources close to Abe told the broadcaster that Abe “was shot in the chest”.
Kyodo News said Abe was not conscious and appeared to be in cardiac arrest. The agency said the former prime minister was attacked by an unidentified man on a street in Nara.
A male suspect has been taken into custody.
Robert Power, an Irish citizen who is visiting Nara, said people are “confused” and “baffled” and there are four helicopters overhead.
“We were told Shinzo Abe was just shot here. Helicopters everywhere,” he told Al Jazeera. “People are just glued to the TV.”
Abe served as Japan’s prime minister from December 2012 to September 2020, making him the
country’s longest-serving prime minister.