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Eight assassinated political leaders

by Editorial Team
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AFP

Japan’s ex-prime minister Shinzo Abe was shot dead on Friday. Here is a look at previous assassinations of leading politicians around the world, starting with John F. Kennedy in 1963.

– John F. Kennedy, 1963 – 

The US president was cut down by an assassin’s bullet on November 22 while riding in an open-top limousine through the streets of Dallas, Texas.

His death was caught on film and the crime – along with the image of the blood splattered on the pink suit of his glamorous, young wife Jackie – stunned the world.

Troubled Marine Corps veteran turned Soviet defector Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested shortly after and convicted, though the killing has sparked many conspiracy theories.

Oswald, 26, was shot to death on live television as he was being transferred to jail.

– Anwar al-Sadat, 1981 –

Islamist militants fatally shot Egypt’s President Anwar al-Sadat at a military parade in Cairo on October 6, three years after he signed the 1978 Camp David Accords that led to a 1979 peace treaty with Israel. It was the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab country.

– Indira Gandhi, 1984 –

Indira Gandhi, India’s prime minister at the time, was shot dead in New Delhi on October 31 by two of her Sikh bodyguards to avenge a brutal army assault on the Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out separatists.

Her son Rajiv Gandhi took over, remaining in power until 1989. He, too, was murdered, on May 21, 1991, by a Tamil suicide bomber during an election campaign in southern India.

– Olof Palme, 1986 –

Olof Palme, Sweden’s prime minister, was shot dead on February 28 by a lone attacker, shortly after leaving a Stockholm cinema to walk home with his wife. The murder remains unsolved.

– Mohamad Boudiaf, 1992 –

A bodyguard assassinated Algerian President Mohamed Boudiaf on June 29, fatally shooting him as he was making a speech in Annaba in the northeast, six months after his election. 

The bodyguard, Lembarek Boumarafi, appeared from behind a curtain and shot the president after rolling a grenade on the ground.

– Yitzhak Rabin, 1995 –

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was shot by a Jewish extremist, Yigal Amir, on November 4 at the end of a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

The killer shot Rabin three times at close range shortly after he had given a speech.

– Benazir Bhutto, 2007 –

Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on December 27 in a shooting and suicide bomb attack, two months after the former prime minister returned from exile for a political comeback.

According to the most commonly accepted version, an assailant shot her after a meeting before detonating a bomb near her convoy, killing 24 other people.

– Jovenel Moise, 2021 –

Haitian President Jovenel Moise was shot dead in the middle of the night on July 7 in his private residence in Port-au-Prince by an armed commando of 28 men.

Three of the commandos were killed and around 20, including 18 former Colombian soldiers, were arrested. The probe continues.

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