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Danish Prime Minister Injured in Copenhagen Attack

 June 9, 2024

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen experienced a startling assault in Copenhagen's old town on Friday.

A man attacked Frederiksen, causing her minor whiplash and shock, and European leaders swiftly condemned the unsettling incident, as the BBC reports.

The assault took place in a bustling square in Copenhagen's historic district. Frederiksen was targeted by a man who approached her and violently struck her shoulder.

Assailant Apprehended

The police acted quickly, apprehending the attacker on the spot. Despite the rapid arrest, the motive behind the attack remains unclear. The man who carried out the attack is a 39-year-old and is set for a hearing at Frederiksberg Courthouse on Saturday afternoon.

This alarming incident comes less than a month after Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot multiple times, further heightening concerns about the safety of European leaders.

Witnesses Describe the Startling Incident

Two witnesses to the attack, Marie Adrian and Anna Ravn, described the unsettling scene. "A man came by in the opposite direction and gave her a hard shove on the shoulder, causing her to fall to the side," they recounted.

Frederiksen did not fall to the ground but chose to sit at a nearby café to recuperate from the shock. The prime minister's office later confirmed her condition, stating she was "shocked" and suffering from "minor whiplash."

Condemnation from European Leaders

European leaders swiftly condemned the act. Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission chief, called it "a despicable act, which goes against everything we believe in and fight for in Europe." EU Chief Charles Michel added to the condemnation, declaring, "I strongly condemn this cowardly act of aggression."

Within Denmark, the reaction was equally strong. Danish Environment Minister Magnus Heunicke expressed his concern, saying, "Mette is naturally shocked by the attack. I must say that it shakes all of us who are close to her."

Political Context of the Attack

The attack occurred just two days before Denmark's European Union election. Prime Minister Frederiksen had been participating in an event related to the election prior to the assault.

The Social Democrats, led by Frederiksen, hold the position of being the largest party in Denmark's coalition government. However, the party has recently faced a decline in support.

Frederiksen’s tenure as prime minister began in 2019, marking her as the youngest person to fill the role in Danish history. Her term has not been without controversy, including criticism in 2022 over the government's decision to cull millions of mink during the Covid pandemic.

Legal Proceedings Ahead

The suspect's hearing will be closely monitored as the investigation continues. The authorities have not yet provided any details regarding the possible motives behind the attack. As the nation looks towards the upcoming EU election, the incident has increased security concerns.

The prime minister's ability to quickly return to her duties could play a role in reassuring the public amidst these security challenges.

Public and Political Reactions Continue

In addition to European leaders, members of the Danish public and other politicians have expressed their support for Frederiksen and their outrage over the incident.

Social media has been flooded with messages of solidarity, emphasizing the need for united condemnation of violence against elected officials.

The attack highlights broader security issues facing political leaders in Europe, especially as tensions rise with various regional issues at play.


Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen’s security was brutally breached as she suffered minor whiplash from an attack in Copenhagen, leading to widespread condemnation from European leaders and citizens alike. The assailant was promptly arrested; however, the motive remains unclear.

This incident, coming days before the EU election, underscores the vulnerability of European leaders in a politically charged landscape.

With investigations proceeding and legal actions pending, Denmark and its European allies remain vigilant and supportive of each other in the face of such adversity.