Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was attacked by a man in central Copenhagen, her office has said.

The 46-year-old was “shocked by the incident” on Friday evening, July 7 in the capital’s Kultorvet square, the office said in a statement, without providing further details.

“Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen was hit by a man Friday evening on Kultorvet in Copenhagen. The man was subsequently arrested,” the statement added, according to AFP news agency.

Copenhagen police also said on X that one person had been arrested and they were investigating the incident, but did not give details on the suspect’s identity.

The assault came two days before Danes head to the polls to vote in European Union parliamentary elections, which conclude across the EU bloc on Sunday.

Frederiksen has been campaigning with the Social Democrats’ EU lead candidate, Christel Schaldemose.

Two witnesses, Marie Adrian and Anna Ravn, told newspaper BT that they had seen Frederiksen arrive at the square while they were sitting by a nearby fountain just before 6pm (16:00 GMT).

“A man came by in the opposite direction and gave her a hard shove on the shoulder, causing her to fall to the side,” the newspaper quoted the women as saying.

They added that while it was a “strong push”, Frederiksen did not hit the ground.

According to the witnesses, the prime minister then sat down at a nearby cafe. They described the man as tall and slim, and said he had tried to hurry away but had not gotten far before being grabbed and pushed to the ground by men in suits.

Another witness, Kasper Jorgensen, told newspaper Ekstra Bladet that he had seen the man after he was tackled to the ground, saying that one of what he presumed to be part of the security service had put a knee on the man’s back.

“They had pacified him, and as he lay there, he looked confused and a little dazed,” Jorgensen told the newspaper.

Frederiksen was then escorted away by security following the assault.

European Council President Charles Michel said he was “outraged by the assault” while European Parliament President Roberta Metsola urged Frederiksen to “keep strong” while adding in a post on X that “violence has no place in politics”.

EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen also condemned what she called a “despicable act which goes against everything we believe and fight for in Europe”, in a statement to social media.

Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that “an attack on a democratically elected leader is also an attack on our democracy”.

In 2019, Frederiksen became Denmark’s youngest prime minister and kept the post after emerging victorious in the 2022 general election.

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