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Shinzo Abe's body taken back to Tokyo after suspected gunman tells police he 'held a grudge'

After Shinzo Abe was assassinated during a campaign speech, his body has been returned to Japan’s capital.

Mr Abe, 67 was shot twice from the back while speaking at a rally held in Nara. This was the first assassination attempt on a former or sitting Japanese prime minister since 1930s.

He suffered two severe neck injuries that caused an injury to an artery and died five hours later.

Image Mr Abe suffered two neck injuries and later died from the attack

Yamagami Tetsuya (41 years old) was arrested after the incident and admitted to shooting Mr Abe using a homemade gun.

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According to police, the suspect claimed he had a grudge against “specific organisations” and believed that Mr Abe was part thereof.

Officers added that the grudge wasn’t about politics, and that it was unclear if the unnamed organization existed.

Tetsuya, a reported unemployed factory worker, was also a member Japan’s Maritime Defence Force.

More information about Japan

Image: Police have taken into custody a man they believe to be the suspect. Pic: Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters
Image Officials pray for the vehicle that is believed to have the body of the former Japanese prime minister

As a funeral procession believed to have Mr Abe’s remains left the hospital, there was a steady stream from Nara of mourners.

Akie Abe, Mr Abe’s spouse, was also in the motorcade. It left Kashihara, Nara Prefecture just before 6am. Local media reported that it was headed for Tokyo.

Image Photo: AP

Japanese media reported that a night vigil will take place on Monday. Mr Abe’s funeral will be attended by close friends on Tuesday.

No immediate information was available on plans for a public service of condolence.

Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, was the latest to send a condolence message on Saturday after Mr Abe’s passing.

Among others, the leaders of the US and UK, South Koreas, Brazil, Israel, South Korea, South Korea, Brazil and Canada have offered tributes.

Meanwhile, campaigning for the upper house of parliament resumed on the last day of electioneering.

The ruling coalition headed by Prime Minister Fumio Kilishida is expected to win the election. However, the Liberal Democratic Party (where Mr Abe has a lot of influence) will likely gain seats.

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