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Danish Prime Minister Assaulted on a Copenhagen Square
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By Associated Press
Published 5 days ago on
June 7, 2024

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen attends a ceremony at the Danish monument outside of Sainte Marie du Mont, Normandy, Thursday, June 6, 2024. (AP File)

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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 in the case 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 just ahead of the European Union parliamentary elections 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.

‘An Attack on Democracy’

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 run-up 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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