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Slovak PM Robert Fico Shot And Wounded, In A Life Threatening Condition

Slovak PM Robert Fico was shot and wounded when he was visiting the town of Handlova. According to a release by the Government of Slovakia he is in a life threatening condition. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot when he was greeting the crowds who had gathered for a government meeting which was being held in front of a cultural community center in the town of Handlova.

Onlookers said they heard several shots before Fico’s security bundled him into a car and rushed him to a hospital. The alleged assailant is in police custody.

According to the BBC a journalist who witnessed the shooting said that the crowd was waiting outside a cultural center and a person among them started shooting. The shooting occurred at 14:30 (12:30 GMT) in Handlova, about 180km (112 miles) north-east of the capital Bratislava. Another witness said that she heard two or three shots being fired and saw Mr Fico fall bleeding from wounds to his head and chest.

Mr Fico’s guards immediately helped him up from beside a bench and rushed him into a car. As per reports he was airlifted by a helicopter to a nearby hospital and later flown to another hospital in Banska Bystrica, east of Handlova.

A message which was posted on Mr Fico’s Facebook account said that he was shot multiple times and is in a life threatening condition. He was airlifted to Banska Bystrica as he needed urgent surgery. The next few hours would be critical, the message said.

A number of videos are circulating in the internet which showed bystanders as well as guards detaining the suspect just outside the cultural center in Handlova. The man was wearing a pale-blue shirt, was then seen sitting on the ground, his hands tied behind his back. Reuters has also reported that a man was immediately detained after the shooting.

Slovakia’s outgoing president Zuzana Caputova said she was shocked by the shooting of the Slovak PM Robert Fico and added that the heinous crime must be condemned in the strongest words possible. She also wished the PM good health and hoped he recovers soon.

Mr. Fico, 59, came back to power in the elections held in September 2023 and heads a populist-nationalist coalition. His initial months in power were very controversial and in January he halted military aid to Ukraine and in April pushed through plans to abolish public broadcaster RTVS.

The Slovak parliament was in session when the shooting happened and as per media reports that a party colleague of Mr. Fico’s shouted at opposition MPs, accusing them of stoking the attack. President-elect Peter Pellegrini is close to the Prime Minister and he said that he was horrified to hear of the attack and also blamed the shooting on recent political divisions. He also described the shooting as an attack on Slovak democracy.

Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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