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Danish Prime Minister suffers 'light whiplash' in assault on street

Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen attends a ceremony at the Danish monument outside of Sainte Marie du Mont, Normandy, Thursday, June 6, 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. Copyright Jeremias Gonzalez/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Jeremias Gonzalez/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Gerardo Fortuna
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The Prime Minister's office said she was 'left in shock' after being pushed by a man in a Copenhagen street but was able to walk away afterwards.

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Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has been assaulted by an unknown man in Kultorvet, a central square in Copenhagen, Danish media has reported.

According to her office Frederiksen suffered a light whiplash injury in the assault. She was taken to a city hospital for a check-up and her official schedule has been cancelled for the day.

The man who attacked her on Friday night was arrested by police immediately afterwards.

In a post on X on Saturday morning the police office said the 39 year old man was to appear before the city's District Court at around 1pm. The man hasn't been named and the police have given no indication as to what motivated him.

Two eyewitnesses, Anna Ravn and Marie Adrian, told the daily BT that they saw a man walking toward Frederiksen and then “pushing her hard on the shoulder so she was shoved aside.” They stressed that the premier did not fall down.

Another witness, Kasper Jørgensen, told the Ekstra Bladet tabloid that a well-dressed man, who seemed part of Frederiksen's protection unit, and a police officer took down the alleged assailant.

Søren Kjærgaard who was working at a local bar on Kultorvet Square where the incident happened told the BT that he saw Frederiksen after the incident and she had no visible injuries to her face but walked away quickly.

Politicians in the Scandinavian country and abroad condemned the reported assault.

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.”

“I must say that it shakes all of us who are close to her. Something like this must not happen in our beautiful, safe, and free country,” the country’s Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke, from Frederiksen’s social-democrat party, posted on X.

Dan Jørgensen, the Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, posted that he was "shocked by the hateful comments and further attacks against her and thus our democracy, with which the social media is currently overflowing."

French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron posted that "the attack on the Danish Prime Minister is unacceptable."

And the US ambassador to Denmark also posted on X that "there is no place for political violence in democratic societies."

Last month, Slovakia's Prime Minister survived an assassination attempt in the central Slovakian town of Handlová.

Frederiksen's name has been sounded in Brussels as a potential successor of Charles Michel at the helm of the European Council.

Sweden's Foreign Minister, Tobias Billström reacted to Friday's attack against Frederiksen on X saying that such an “absolutely terrible” attack should be strongly condemned.

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