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Slovak PM shot and wounded after government meeting


 , Updated 21:57, 15-May-2024
A man is detained after the shooting of Slovak PM Robert Fico. /Radovan Stoklasa/Reuters
A man is detained after the shooting of Slovak PM Robert Fico. /Radovan Stoklasa/Reuters

A man is detained after the shooting of Slovak PM Robert Fico. /Radovan Stoklasa/Reuters

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico has been shot and wounded, local news agencies are reporting. 

Fico was shot in front of a cultural community center in the town of Handlova, where a government meeting had been held. Handlova is around 180 kilometers north-east of the capital Bratislava.

Witnesses heard several shots and saw a man being detained by police. Broadcaster TA3 said four shots were fired, one hitting Fico in the abdomen. The Slovak leader has been taken to hospital. 

The Slovak emergency service said on Facebook that it had dispatched a helicopter to a 59-year-old man in Handlova after information he was shot, and that "action is still underway."

A video seems to show several men hurrying to detain the suspect, while Reuters photographs show a man handcuffed on the floor. A Reuters witness said he saw security officials pushing someone into a car and driving off.

Slovak president Zuzana Capatova condemned the "brutal and ruthless" attack , while Czech PM Petr Fiala said the news was shocking. Both wished Fico a quick recovery. 

Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu wrote on social media that he is "profoundly shocked" by the news and that the perpetrators must be held accountable.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, condemned what she described as a vile attack. "I strongly condemn the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico. Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with PM Fico, his family," she said.

Fico is Slovakia's longest-serving prime minister, having spent more than 10 years in charge over three spells, the latest starting with his re-election last September. 

Following the shooting, Slovakia's biggest opposition party called off a planned protest against government public broadcaster reforms set for Wednesday evening.

More news as we get it.

Source(s): Reuters
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