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Danish PM Mette Frederiksen sustains minor whiplash following an assault

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen sustained a minor whiplash injury after being assaulted by a man in central Copenhagen, her office confirmed.

The incident occurred on Friday evening in Kultorvet square, leaving Frederiksen shocked and shaken. She was subsequently taken to Rigshospitalet for a medical check-up, where the minor injury was diagnosed. Frederiksen’s Saturday schedule was canceled as a result.

Danish police announced that a 39-year-old man would be questioned in relation to the assault, with details regarding the context remaining unclear. The assault happened just days before the European Union parliamentary elections, for which Frederiksen had been campaigning alongside Christel Schaldemose, the Social Democrats’ lead candidate.

Witnesses reported seeing Frederiksen being forcefully shoved while arriving at the square, causing her to lose balance but not fall to the ground. The assailant was swiftly apprehended by security personnel after attempting to flee.

Frederiksen was escorted away from the scene by security, showing signs of stress, according to a witness.

Politicians both domestically and internationally condemned the assault, with European Council President Charles Michel expressing outrage and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola emphasizing that violence has no place in politics.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson echoed similar sentiments, labeling the attack as an assault on democracy. Frederiksen, who became Denmark’s youngest prime minister in 2019 and retained her position after the 2022 general election, received widespread support from colleagues and citizens, with many expressing disbelief that such an incident could occur in Denmark.

The assault comes amidst a backdrop of violence against politicians in the lead-up to the EU elections, with incidents reported in Germany and Slovakia, highlighting broader concerns about political safety across Europe.

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