Slovak prime minister wounded in shooting

The detained shooter. Photo: Radovan Stoklasa / Reuters / Scanpix

The detained shooter. Photo: Radovan Stoklasa / Reuters / Scanpix

Local media reports from Slovakia say an attempt has been made on the life of the country’s prime minister, Robert Fico. Several shots rang out as Fico left a cabinet meeting in the central Slovakian town of Handlová on Wednesday.

Fico was reportedly shot in the head and abdomen and was taken to hospital, while the gunman was detained at the site of the shooting.

Fico, a pro-Russian populist, has repeatedly spoken out against giving military aid to Ukraine and called on the country to cede occupied territory to Russia in order to end the war.

Fico took office for the third time in October 2023, having previously served from 2008 to 2010 and between 2012 and 2018.

Slovak channel TV Joj claimed the shooter to be a 71-year-old from the town of Levice. His motive is yet to be ascertained. Slovak news website Plus 7 Dni suggested the shooter was Juraj Cintula, a poet and writer, who was in legal possession of the weapon.

The Denník N daily has since reported that Fico’s life is not in danger, while TV channel TA3 said the prime minister was in hospital in the central Slovak city of Banská Bystrica. Czech news website said that doctors were already operating on Fico.

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