Wednesday 15 May 2024


Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico was hospitalized on Wednesday after he was shot five times in an assassination attempt that shocked the country.

Slovakian deputy Prime Minister Tomáš Taraba said he believed the prime minister would survive following surgery that “went well” and was “not in a life-threatening situation at this moment.”

“I was very shocked and tried to contact people to figure out how serious his condition was,” Taraba said in an interview with BBC’s Newshour program on Wednesday, recalling the moment he heard about Fico’s shooting.

“Fortunately, as far as I know the operation went well and I guess in the end he will survive,” he said.

Both the country’s Defense Minister Robert Kaliňák and Interior Minister Matúš Šutaj Eštok called the shooting “politically motivated,” with Šutaj Eštok noting that “the suspect made the decision to do it shortly after the presidential election.”

The attack took place after an off-site government meeting in the central Slovak town of Handlova. The suspected gunman was among a small crowd of people waiting to greet the prime minister on the street outside the cultural center, where the meeting took place, local media reported.

Footage from the scene shows the injured prime minister being bundled into a vehicle by his staff, before it speeds away with him inside. Fico was taken to a local hospital and then transferred by helicopter to a major trauma center about 20 miles (30 kilometers) away in Banska Bystrica. No one else was injured in the attack, officials said.

Taraba told the BBC that Fico “was heavily injured” and a bullet “went through the stomach and the second one hit the joints,” he said.

Fico is the most powerful lawmaker in Slovakia. Unlike the president, whose role has limited scope, the prime minister holds rank as the decision-making head of government. CNN


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