Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico Critically Injured in Assassination Attempt

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico Critically Injured in Assassination Attempt

On Wednesday, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was critically injured in an assassination attempt in Handlova, as reported by the government office. Fico, 59, was immediately taken to a local hospital and then airlifted to Banska Bystrica for urgent treatment.

A Reuters witness reported hearing several shots after a government meeting in Handlova, northeast of the capital Bratislava. Police apprehended a suspect, and security officials hurriedly escorted someone into a car and drove away.

The government office confirmed the assassination attempt on Fico at the off-site meeting. Emergency Services received information about a shooting in Handlova shortly after 2:30 p.m. local time and dispatched an emergency helicopter for a 59-year-old patient.

Broadcaster TA3 reported that four shots were fired, and Fico was hit in the abdomen. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen led the condemnation of the attack, stating that such acts of violence have no place in society.

The Slovak government was meeting in Handlova as part of a regional tour after returning to power late last year. Fico, now in his fourth term as prime minister, has shifted his political stance over his three-decade career to appeal to a changing electorate.

Following the shooting, Slovakia’s largest opposition party canceled a planned protest against government public broadcaster reforms. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova expressed shock and condemned the attack in the strongest possible terms. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer also expressed shock and condemned the violent act.

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