Slovakian PM Robert Fico has been shot multiple times and is reported to be in "life-threatening condition

20240516 054141
  • Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico is "fighting for his life" and undergoing surgery after he was shot five times in a politically motivated assassination attempt, according to officials.
  • The perpetrator is in custody after the shooting Wednesday in the central Slovakian town of Handlova. No one else was injured in the attack, officials said.
  • The defense and interior minister blamed rising hate speech and division for the political atmosphere that they said led to the assassination attempt. 
  • Fico, an ally of Russia, won a third term as Slovakia's prime minister in October after running a campaign that criticized Western support for Ukraine

Mr Fico was attacked after leaving a meeting - with five shots fired and a bloodied man detained at the scene. Slovakia's government says it was an "assassination attempt" and that the coming hours are critical.

Slovakia's interior minister said there was a "clear political motivation" behind the attack, while local TV said Mr Fico was hit in the stomach.

The 59-year-old was taken to a local hospital and then flown to a larger facility in Banska Bystrica.

"The next few hours will decide," said a post on Mr Fico's Facebook page.

The prime minister was still in surgery on Wednesday evening, said the country's defence minister, who described his condition as "extraordinarily serious".

Interior minister Matus Sutaj-Estok told reporters outside the hospital that the gunman had fired five shots.

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