Former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe has been shot in the city of Nara, public broadcaster NHK reported on Friday.

Abe was seen collapsing during a speech in Nara at around 11.30am, the broadcaster reported. He was bleeding. An NHK reporter on the scene heard the sound of a gunshot.

The former prime minister has been taken to hospital and is in cardiac and respiratory arrest, the report added.

NHK later reported that police said Abe had been shot from behind with a shotgun.

Abe was Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, with two stints in office from 2006 to 2007 and 2012 to 2020.

Japanese news agency Kyodo reported that police had seized the attacker.

This is a developing story.

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