Taiwan President assassinated

Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian survived an assassination attempt Friday while campaigning on the eve of presidential elections, escaping with a bullet wound to the stomach.

Vice President Annette Lu was also wounded but was not badly hurt, officials said. The pair had been traveling in a red, open-top jeep through the southern city of Tainan, waving to crowds, when unknown assailants shot at them at 1:45 p.m. (12:45 a.m. EST).

Police said they believed two standard handguns were used and at least two shots were fired. They had yet to make any arrests.

Officials said Saturday's election would go ahead as planned.

China had no immediate comment. Beijing regards Taiwan as a renegade province to be recovered, by force if necessary.

Chen, who was not wearing a bullet-proof vest, was rushed to hospital in Tainan, his home town, where he received 14 stitches in a five-inch long, one-inch deep wound. Television reports said the 54-year-old president was able to walk in for treatment.

Lu, 59, was hit in the right leg and had to be assisted but her condition was not serious, officials said, informs &to=http://www.reuters.com' target=_blank>Reuters.com

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