June 24th, 2024

The Danish prime minister is assaulted by a man on a Copenhagen square, reports say

By The Associated Press on June 7, 2024.

FILE - Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen attends a ceremony at the Danish monument outside of Sainte Marie du Mont, Normandy, Thursday, June 6, 2024. Frederiksen has been assaulted by a man on a square in the capital of Copenhagen, according to a report on Friday, June 7, 2024 by the state news agency Ritzau. (AP Photo/Jeremias Gonzalez, File)

BERLIN (AP) – Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was assaulted by a man on a square in the capital of Copenhagen, the state news agency Ritzau reported Friday.

Copenhagen police confirmed on the X platform that one person was arrested and an investigation was underway.

There was no immediate word on how the assault happened or if Frederiksen was hurt in any way. The prime minister’s office told the Danish state broadcaster DR that she was “shocked” by the incident.

The reports gave no further details and it was unclear in what context the assault happened, but it came during European Union parliamentary elections, which conclude across the EU on Sunday. Frederiksen has been campaigning with the Social Democrats’ EU lead candidate, Christel Schaldemose. Media reports said the attack was not linked to a campaign event.

News of the assault was received with shock and condemnation by politicians across the political spectrum inside the Scandinavian country and abroad.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that “an attack on a democratically elected leader is also an attack on our democracy,” while Charles Michel, president of the European Council, condemned on X what he called a “cowardly act of aggression.”

Violence against politicians has become a theme in the runup to the EU elections. In May, a candidate from Germany’s center-left Social Democrats was beaten and seriously injured while campaigning for a seat in the European Parliament.

In Slovakia, the election campaign was overshadowed by an attempt to assassinate populist Prime Minister Robert Fico on May 15, sending shockwaves through the nation of 5.4 million and reverberating throughout Europe.

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