Slovakia: PM Fico shot, in 'life threatening condition'

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Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico is successful a "life-threatening condition" successful infirmary aft being changeable successful what his bureau has called an "assassination attempt."

"Today, aft the authorities gathering successful Handlova, determination was an assassination effort connected the Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, Robert Fico," the authorities said successful a station connected societal media.

Local broadcaster TA3 reported that 4 shots were fired successful the cardinal Slovakian town, 1 hitting Prime Minister Fico successful the stomach.

Handlova infirmary manager Marta Eckhardtova told the AFP quality agency:  "Mr. Fico was brought into our infirmary and helium was treated astatine our vascular country clinic."

Officials initially said that Prime Minister Fico was being transferred to the capital, Bratislava, earlier his bureau said helium was being taken to different infirmary successful the adjacent metropolis of Banska.

"He is presently being transported by chopper to Banska Bystrica successful a life-threatening condition, due to the fact that it would instrumentality excessively agelong to get to Bratislava owed to the necessity of an acute intervention," Fico's bureau said.

A connection posted to Fico's idiosyncratic Facebook relationship said that the person "has been changeable aggregate times" and added: "The adjacent fewer hours volition decide."

What bash we cognize astir the shooting?

The shooting ocurred successful Handlova, a tiny municipality astir 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of Bratislava.

It occured successful beforehand of the section "House of Culture" wherever populist person Fico had been gathering supporters conscionable 3 weeks up of important European Parliament elections.

Security guards respond  astatine  the country   of a shooting incidental  of Slovak PM Robert FicoSecurity guards respond astatine the country of a shooting incidental of Slovak PM Robert FicoImage: Radovan Stoklasa/REUTERS

A newsman for 1 regular paper said helium heard shooting and past saw rescuers carrying the 59-year-old premier to a car.

Another witnesser told the Reuters quality agency that helium heard respective shots and that helium saw a antheral being detained by police.

The Slovakian parliament's lawman talker Lubos Blaha confirmed the incidental during a league of parliament which was adjourned until further notice.

Following the shooting, Slovakia's biggest absorption enactment called disconnected a planned protestation against authorities nationalist broadcaster reforms which had been acceptable for Wednesday evening.

European leaders condemn 'brutal and ruthless attack'

Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova condemned "a brutal and ruthless" onslaught connected the premier.

"I'm shocked," Caputova said. "I privation Robert Fico a batch of spot successful this captious infinitesimal and a speedy betterment from this attack."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen besides condemned the "vile" onslaught and said: "Such acts of unit person nary spot successful our nine and undermine democracy, our astir precious communal good."

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said "violence has nary spot successful European politics."

Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said helium was "profoundly shocked" by the news, saying: "Such utmost acts person nary justification and the perpetrators indispensable beryllium held accountable."

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a governmental state of Fico, said helium was "deeply shocked by the heinous attack" connected his "friend."

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert FicoSlovakia's Prime Minister Robert FicoImage: Petr David Josek/AP Photo/picture alliance

Who is Robert Fico?

Fico, the longest-serving Prime Minister successful Slovakia's history, began his latest word successful October 2023 aft moving connected a run to standard backmost subject enactment to Ukraine.

His party, "Direction – Social Democracy" – known arsenic Smer – won conscionable nether 23% of the ballot and formed a conjugation with "Voice – Social Democracy" – known arsenic Hlas - and the pro-Russian Slovak National Party.

During a three-decade career, Fico has fluctuated betwixt the pro-European mainstream and more nationalistic positions opposed to European Union and US policies.

For instance, helium erstwhile hailed Slovakia's adoption of the euro arsenic a "significant historical decision" but took purpose astatine the EU, NATO and Ukraine during his caller predetermination run successful a bid to woo far-left and far-right voters.

This is simply a breaking quality story, it volition beryllium updated...

mf/lo (Reuters, AP)

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