Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico critically injured after shooting

Slovakia’s president condemns "brutal attack" on prime minister Fico

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Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin, Germany, January 24, 2024. — Reuters
  • PM Robert Fico was shot in the abdomen.
  • President of Slovakia condemns attack.
  • Suspect has been taken into custody.

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico has been shot after he concluded a meeting in Handlova, the country's media reported Wednesday.

The condition of PM Fico is said to be critical, according to the official statement.

The country’s news agency TA3 reported that a suspect has been taken into custody. 

"There was an assassination attempt on R. Fico. He was shot multiple times and is currently in a life-threatening condition. The next few hours will be decisive," a statement from Fico's Facebook page read.

It also added: "The PM was taken there instead of the capital city of Bratislava because an acute intervention was necessary." 

The populist leader was injured as reports indicate the firing of several gunshots, and the 59-year-old had been hit in the abdomen.

Zuzana Čaputová, Slovakia’s president, condemned the “brutal” attack on the prime minister.

"Police detained a man and security officials pushed someone into a car and drove off," a witness quoted by Reuters said.

Security officers move Slovak PM Robert Fico in a car after a shooting incident, after a Slovak government meeting in Handlova, Slovakia, May 15, 2024. — Reuters

TASR news agency of Slovakia quoted parliamentary vice-chairman Lubos Blaha as saying Fico had been shot and hurt. 

Emergency services said a helicopter had been sent for PM in Handlova after receiving information.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, condemned the attack and called it "a vile attack on Fico".

The Slovak government was meeting in Handlova, 190 km (118 miles) northeast of Bratislava, as part of a tour of the country's regions after coming to power in 2023.

Robert Fico became PM of the NATO and EU member for the fourth time after shifting political gears to appeal to a changing electorate.

During a three-decade career, Fico moved between the pro-European mainstream and nationalistic positions opposed to EU and American policies.  

He also expressed hope to transform as per the public opinion or change political realities.

After the incident, Slovakia's opposition party cancelled a protest against government public broadcaster reforms slated Wednesday evening.