Danish PM assaulted in public square
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Danish PM assaulted in public square

Mette Frederiksen suffered ‘light whiplash’ after attack, suspect in custody

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen visits  a local library to cast her advance vote for the European Parliament elections, in Aalborg, Denmark on June 1. (Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/Claus Bjoern Larsen via Reuters)
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen visits a local library to cast her advance vote for the European Parliament elections, in Aalborg, Denmark on June 1. (Photo: Ritzau Scanpix/Claus Bjoern Larsen via Reuters)

COPENHAGEN - Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen suffered a light whiplash injury after she was assaulted by a man in central Copenhagen on Friday, her office said in a statement on Saturday.

“Apart from that, the Prime Minister is safe and sound, but she is shocked by the incident,” it said, adding that Frederiksen had been taken to hospital for a check-up following the incident late on Friday.

All the prime minister’s official events on Saturday have been cancelled, her office said.

According to local media reports, the attack occurred as the prime minister was meeting a person at a cafe in a square in central Copenhagen.

Danish police said on Saturday that a 39-year-old man would appear in front of a judge for preliminary questioning in relation to an assault on the prime minister.

Frederiksen, 46, was able to walk away and had no outward signs of harm after the assault, Soren Kjergaard, who works as a barista in central Copenhagen, told Reuters after seeing her being escorted away by security.

Neither the police nor the prime minister’s office said anything about the man’s motive or whether he had carried a weapon.

The assault comes two days before Danes head to the polls in the European Union election.

A month ago, three German politicians suffered assaults ahead of European Parliament and district council elections and more attacks followed earlier this week.

Several EU leaders condemned the incident, which happened just three weeks after Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico was seriously injured in an assassination attempt.

“The attack on Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen is an intolerable act of violence that represents an attack on the heart of democratic values,” Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said on X.

Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president said on X: “I was so shocked at the news of you being assaulted tonight. I condemn this despicable act which goes against everything we believe and fight for in Europe. I wish you strength and courage — I know you have plenty of both.”

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