Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico Shot Multiple Times in Assassination Attempt

By John Lopez

May 15, 2024 03:23 PM EDT

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico has narrowly survived an assassination attempt after being shot multiple times in Handlova, central Slovakia (via AFP). 

According to local reports confirmed by officials, a gunman shot the prime minister in front of the Handlova's House of Culture after a government meeting.

TOPSHOT - This image taken from video footage obtained by AFPTV shows security personnel carrying Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico (C) towards a vehicle after he was shot in Handlova on May 15, 2024. Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico was battling life-threatening wounds after officials said he was shot multiple times in an assassination attempt condemned by European leaders.
(Photo : Photo by RTVS/AFP via Getty Images)

Slovakia Prime Minister Survives Assassination Attempt

Fico, a seasoned political figure in Slovakia, was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition. Details of his injuries remain undisclosed at the time of writing.

Eyewitnesses described the scene, with security guards swiftly responding to the gunfire and detaining the assailant. Images aired by Slovak television showed a handcuffed suspect and Fico being airlifted to a nearby hospital. 

The government and Fico's Facebook page later confirmed the severity of the incident, stating Fico was shot multiple times and is in "life-threatening condition.".

The attack on Fico, a four-time prime minister and founder of Slovakia's Smer-SD party, prompted swift condemnation from domestic and international leaders. 

Outgoing Slovak President Zuzana Caputova denounced the assault, calling it "terrible and heinous." President-elect Peter Pellegrini told the media that the attack was an "unprecedented threat to Slovak democracy."

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European Leaders Condemn Assassination Attempt

European leaders united in condemning the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Fico. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who reportedly was a target of a foiled assassination attempt, expressed outrage at the "appalling" violence and extended wishes for Fico's speedy recovery. 

Similarly, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak shared his shock at the news on X, calling for solidarity in the face of such acts.

Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda called for a thorough investigation into the incident and wished Fico a full recovery. 

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk expressed solidarity with Fico.

The attack on Fico has reignited concerns over political stability and security in Slovakia, prompting calls for heightened vigilance and security measures. Investigations into the assassination attempt continue.

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