History's most notorious assassinations

Shinzo Abe, Japan's former prime minister, shot dead at campaign event

Stars Insider

08/07/22 | StarsInsider


Shinzo Abe, the former Prime Minister of Japan, was assassinated at a public campaign event on Friday morning, July 8. The 67-year-old was shot while giving a speech and was seen to collapse to the ground. Abe was immediately rushed to hospital, but news broke shortly afterward that he had died from his injuries.

A 41-year-old suspect was taken into custody at the scene. Eye-witnesses say they saw the man approach with a large gun and fire two shots at Abe. The suspect is believed to be a former member of Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force, similar to the navy, who had expressed his dislike for Abe. Incidents of gun violence are extremely low in Japan as it's difficult to obtain a firearm, but experts have commented that the gun used in the attack appeared to be a double-barrel shotgun that the suspect may have made himself. 

Japan's current prime minister, Fumio Kishida, condemned that attack, saying, "It is barbaric and malicious and it cannot be tolerated." Shinzo Abe was Japan's longest-serving prime minister, having served for a year in 2006 and then again from 2012 to 2020, before stepping down for health reasons. 

Assassinations such as this have been carried out since antiquity. Just look at how many Roman emperors fell victim to the sword, knife, or poison. In fact, most assassinations are politically motivated, with presidents, prime ministers, and members of royalty all having been targeted throughout history. But some killings remain senseless and inexplicable, those of musicians for example, or advocates for peace and equality.

Click through for a gruesome timeline of other victims of assassinations, and the murderers that hit their mark.

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