Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is shot

ENTRE News – Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot multiple times in an assassination attempt after attending a cabinet meeting, Wednesday (15/3). Reported by AFP, Dennik N daily said its reporter in the center of Handlova town heard several shots. Then saw security guards rushing to lift the prime minister from the ground and into the car.

Slovakia’s outgoing President Zuzana Caputova told reporters that “police have detained the attacker”.

“I am shocked, we are all shocked by this terrible and vicious attack,” Caputova said.

Slovak television showed footage of a middle-aged man wearing jeans being handcuffed to the ground. Separate images from public television RTVS showed a person on a stretcher being taken out of a helicopter and taken to hospital.

“Today, after a government meeting in Handlova, an assassination attempt occurred,” the government said in a post on social media quoted by AFP FOR4D.

“He (Fico) is currently being transported by helicopter to Banska Bystrica in a life-threatening condition, as it will take too long to get to Bratislava as it requires urgent intervention,” the government statement added.

Fico was shot several times, a post on his official Facebook page said. Handlova local hospital director Marta Eckhardtova said: “Fico was taken to our hospital and he is being treated at our vascular surgery clinic.”

Fico, whose Smer-SD FOR4D party won general elections last September, served as prime minister four times. He is a political veteran who has been accused of changing his country’s foreign policy to suit the Kremlin’s interests.

Since taking office last October, Fico has made a series of statements that have worsened relations between Slovakia and neighboring Ukraine. One of them was when Fico questioned Ukraine’s sovereignty and called for a compromise with Russia, which has invaded since 2022.

After he was elected, Slovakia stopped sending weapons to Ukraine. He promised during the election campaign not to give “a single bullet” to Kyiv. He also sparked mass protests with controversial changes, including a media law that critics said would weaken the impartiality of public television and radio.

At a press conference after the shooting, lawmaker Lubos Blaha FOR4D of the Fico party lashed out at his critics.

“You, the liberal media, and progressive politicians are to blame. Robert Fico is fighting for his life because of your hatred,” Blaha said.

Slovak President-elect and Fico ally Peter Pellegrini said he learned of the shooting “with horror”.

“The assassination attempt on one of the top constitutional officials represents an unprecedented threat to Slovak democracy,” he added on X, formerly Twitter.

Likewise, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned the “horrific” shooting and wished Fico a speedy recovery.

“We strongly condemn these acts of violence… Every effort must be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country,” he said in a message on social media.

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