Slovak Premier survives killing attempt


(MENAFN) In a shocking turn of events, Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday in the town of Handlova. As he greeted members of the public following a government meeting, multiple shots were fired at Fico, leaving him wounded and in serious condition. The gravity of the situation was underscored by a post on Fico's Facebook page, cautioning that the next few hours would be critical in determining his fate.

Swift action was taken to transport the prime minister to a hospital in Banska Bystrica, located in the heart of Slovakia, due to the urgency of his condition. Reports indicate that Fico sustained gunshot wounds to the abdomen, necessitating immediate surgery.

The assailant, believed to be a pension-aged Slovakian, was swiftly apprehended at the scene by authorities, according to state news agency TASR. Video footage circulating purportedly captures the moment when law enforcement officers subdued the attacker, preventing further harm.

President Zuzana Caputova swiftly condemned the brazen attack on Fico, denouncing it as both brutal and reckless. Expressing solidarity with the wounded prime minister, Caputova extended her heartfelt wishes for his strength during this critical juncture.

Fico's tenure, which commenced in October 2023, has been marked by notable policy shifts, particularly regarding Slovakia's stance on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Opting for a neutral position, Fico diverged from the previous government's policy of providing military aid to Ukraine, instead advocating for a diplomatic resolution to the ongoing crisis. However, this stance has not been without controversy, leading to tensions with both Brussels and domestic pro-Western factions, including President Caputova.

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