• Tue. May 28th, 2024

A Look At Political Leaders Who Have Faced Armed Attacks In Recent Past


May 15, 2024

Following the shooting of Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, AFP looks at five other political leaders around the world targeted in armed attacks in recent years:

Shinzo Abe: Assassinated

In a drama that sent shock waves through a country with low gun crime, former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe, who had resigned from his position in 2020 but remained a key political voice, was campaigning for his ruling party when a lone gunman killed him on July 8, 2022.

Abe’s accused killer targeted the former leader believing he had ties to the Unification Church, which he resented over massive donations his mother had made to the sect.

Jovenel Moise: Assassinated

Haitian president Jovenel Moise was shot dead in the middle of the night on July 7, 2021 in his private residence in Port-au-Prince by a band of 28 mercenaries.

His wife Martine was also shot but survived.

His death plunged an already lawless, gang-plagued Haiti deeper into turmoil.

Most of his attackers were former Colombian soldiers.

A US investigation revealed that two men at the head of a Miami security firm had devised a plan to kidnap Moise and replace him with a Haitian-American citizen.

Imran Khan: Attempted Assassination

On November 3, 2022, former Pakistani prime minister and ex-cricket superstar Imran Khan was hit by a spray of gunfire as his open-top truck made its way through a crowded street in the eastern city of Wazirabad. 

Khan, who had been ousted from power earlier that year after losing the support of the military, had been campaigning for a snap election.

The government said the assassination bid was the work of a lone wolf attacker, with police leaking a “confession” video by the junk-shop owner saying he acted because Khan’s rally had interrupted the Muslim call to prayer.

Cristina Kirchner: Attempted Assassination

On September 1, 2022, a man tried to shoot Argentina’s vice president Cristina Kirchner at point-blank range while she greeted supporters gathered outside her home in Buenos Aires — but the weapon failed to fire. 

Kirchner, a centre-left president from 2007 to 2015 who is an extremely polarising figure in Argentina, was at the time fighting corruption charges that had bitterly divided the nation between supporters and opponents of her Peronism movement.

Her attacker, a Brazilian man who grew up in Argentina, was seen on social media bearing tattoos associated with Nazi symbolism.

Jair Bolsonaro: Attempted Assassination

On September 6, 2018 Brazilian far-right presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro was stabbed in the abdomen on the campaign trail by an attacker later deemed mentally unfit to stand trial.

Former army captain Bolsonaro, dubbed the “Trump of the Tropics”, underwent abdominal surgery in the wake of the attack and went on to win the election.

He served a single term before losing his re-election bid to veteran leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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