Danish PM Mette Frederiksen Injured In Attack By 39-Year-Old Man, PM-Elect Modi Condemns Incident

Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has sustained a light whiplash injury after being assaulted by a man in central Copenhagen, her office confirmed. The incident occurred just two days before Danish voters head to the polls for the European elections. A 39-year-old man is set to appear before a judge for questioning in connection with the attack, The Guardian reported.

Frederiksen’s office told news agency AFP that she was taken to a hospital for a check-up after the attack on Friday evening in a Copenhagen square. The attack has caused a “minor whiplash injury,” it said, while further stating that the Danish prime minister was “otherwise safe but shaken by the incident”.

Two witnesses, Marie Adrian and Anna Ravn, told the newspaper BT that they had seen Frederiksen arrive at the square just before 6:00 pm on Friday, while they were sitting by a nearby fountain.

“A man came by in the opposite direction and gave her a hard shove on the shoulder, causing her to fall to the side,” the two women reported, as quoted by AFP. They added that while it was a “strong push”, Frederiksen did not hit the ground. They described the assailant as tall and slim, noting that he tried to hurry away but was quickly apprehended and pushed to the ground by men in suits.

Frederiksen, who has served as Denmark’s prime minister since 2019 and is considered a contender for a top EU post, was taken to hospital for a check-up. Consequently, her official events scheduled for Saturday have been cancelled, The Guardian’s report stated.

The assault on Friday adds to a troubling series of violent incidents targeting politicians across Europe. In May, Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot and seriously injured. Additionally, a member of the European Parliament from Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) was attacked while putting up posters in Dresden, and a German senator was hospitalised briefly after being struck over the head. Most recently, on Tuesday, a candidate for the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party was stabbed in Mannheim, south-west Germany.

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Mette Frederiksen Attacked: PM Modi, European Leaders Express Concerns

Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi expressed his concerns, posting, “Deeply concerned by the news of the attack on Mette Frederiksen, Denmark’s Prime Minister. We condemn the attack. Wishing good health to my friend.”

European leaders were swift to condemn the assault. French President Emmanuel Macron labelled the attack as “unacceptable”. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas shared she was “deeply shocked,” while Romania’s President Klaus Iohannis described the incident as “a cowardly assault”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen denounced the attack, calling it a “despicable act which goes against everything we believe and fight for in Europe,” in a social media statement.

Mette Frederiksen, who became Denmark’s youngest prime minister in 2019, retained her position following a victory in the 2022 general election.

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