Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico shot in an attempted assassination

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico shot and wounded in an attempted assassination, the government office said.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico shot and wounded in an attempted assassination, the government office said. Fico, aged 59, was swiftly taken to the hospital in the central city of Handlova following a government meeting, and was being airlifted to Banska Bystrica for immediate medical attention, as reported.

Following the meeting in Handlova, located northeast of the capital Bratislava, a witness reported hearing multiple gunshots. A man was apprehended by the police, while security personnel forcefully escorted an individual into a vehicle before driving away, according to the witness.

“An assassination (attempt) on Prime Minister Robert Fico was carried out today at the government’s off-site meeting in Handlova,” the government office said in a statement.

“At the moment he is being transported by helicopter to Banska Bystrica, because it would take too long to Bratislava in view of the necessity of an acute intervention.”

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, condemned the attack, which also shocked the European Union and NATO member state’s allies in central Europe.

“Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with PM Fico, his family”, von der Leyen said.

This meeting in Handlova was organized as part of their tour across the country’s regions, following their assumption of power in the previous year. After adapting his political strategies to resonate with a shifting electorate, Fico assumed the role of prime minister for the fourth time in the previous year.

Throughout his extensive three-decade career, Fico has demonstrated a propensity for transitioning between pro-European mainstream stances and nationalistic positions that oppose European Union and U.S. policies. Furthermore, he has exhibited a willingness to alter his course based on public opinion or evolving political circumstances.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova wrote on X: “Utterly shocked by today’s brutal attack on #Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, which I condemn in strongest possible terms.”

“I wish him lot of strength in this critical moment and early recovery.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz expressed shock on X, adding: “News of the cowardly assassination attempt on Slovakian Prime Minister Fico shocks me deeply. Violence must have no place in European politics.”

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