Assassination attempt was carried out on Slovak PM, spokesperson confirms

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico.(Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)


Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico.(Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)

  • A witness heard several shots fired after the meeting in Handlova northeast of the capital Bratislava on Wednesday.
  • A government spokesperson confirmed the attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico.
  • Broadcaster TA3 reported four shots were fired, one hitting Fico, 59, in the abdomen.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot and wounded in the abdomen after a government meeting on Wednesday, Slovak media reported.

A Slovak interior ministry spokesperson confirmed the attack to Reuters by telephone. The spokesperson gave no details on Fico’s condition.

A Reuters witness heard several shots fired after the meeting in Handlova northeast of the capital Bratislava. Police detained a man and security officials pushed someone into a car and drove off, the witness said.

Slovak news agency TASR quoted parliamentary vice-chairman Lubos Blaha as saying Fico had been shot and hurt. Broadcaster TA3 reported four shots were fired, one hitting Fico, 59, in the abdomen.

Emergency services said a helicopter had been sent for a 59-year-old man in Handlova after receiving information that he had been shot.

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Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, condemned what she described as a vile attack on Fico.

The Slovak government was meeting in Handlova, 190km northeast of Bratislava, as part of a tour of the country’s regions after coming to power late last year.

Fico returned as prime minister of the central European country, which is a member of the European Union and NATO, for the fourth time last year after shifting political gears to appeal to a changing electorate.

During a three-decade career, Fico has moved between the pro-European mainstream and nationalistic positions opposed to European Union and US policies. He has also shown a willingness to change course depending on public opinion or changed political realities.

Following the shooting, Slovakia’s biggest opposition party called off a planned protest against government public broadcaster reforms set for Wednesday evening.

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