Argentina shaken by assassination attempt on VP

STORY: Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets of Argentina to protest an assassination attempt against the country's vice president.

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner escaped unharmed on Thursday after a man fired a loaded gun just inches from her head.

The weapon failed to go off.

The attack happened outside Fernandez de Kirchner's home in Buenos Aires where hundreds of people had gathered to support her as she faces a corruption trial.

Authorities have arrested a suspect, a 35-year-old Brazilian man, but have yet to reveal a motive for the attack.

On the streets of Buenos Aires on Friday, there was an outpouring of support for the the leftist former president.

“The possibility of something happening to Cristina (Fernandez) is unthinkable. We were saved from something terrible. I cannot even comprehend what would have happened if something had happened to her last night.”

Pope Francis and the United States have joined regional leaders in condemning the attack which has happened at a time of deep economic crisis in Argentina.

Argentina's president, who visited Fernandez de Kirchner on Friday, said it was the country's worst incident since it returned to democracy decades ago.

Fernandez de Kirchner is a divisive figure who is currently facing potential corruption charges linked to an alleged scheme to divert public funds while president between 2007 and 2015.

A prosecutor in recent weeks called for a 12-year prison sentence.

She denies the allegations and her supporters have gathered daily outside her home, accusing the opposition and judiciary of a witch hunt.