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BREAKING: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico Critically Injured in Assassination Attempt

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HANDLOVA, Slovakia – Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was critically wounded in a shooting incident while greeting supporters in Handlova, a town approximately 112 miles northeast of Bratislava.

The attack occurred in front of a local cultural community centre shortly after a government meeting.

Several shots rang out around 14:30 local time on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, and the Prime Minister was quickly shielded and evacuated by his security team amidst the chaos.

Eyewitnesses reported hearing three to four gunshots, with one witness telling the Dennik N website that she observed Mr. Fico collapse with visible injuries to his head and chest.

Journalist Juraj Bury, present at the scene, provided a dramatic account: “A crowd was waiting outside [the cultural center] and one of them started shooting,” he reported.

Fico’s guards acted swiftly, assisting him from near a bench to a car, from which he was then airlifted to a hospital. He was later transferred to another facility in Banska Bystrica for urgent surgery, according to a statement on his official Facebook page.

The suspected shooter was detained at the scene, captured in video footage that shows him being restrained by both civilians and security personnel outside the cultural center.

A person is detained after shooting incident of Robert Fico in Handlova, Slovakia, on Wednesday, May 15, 2024. | Radovan Stoklasa / Reuters

Slovakia’s outgoing President, Zuzana Caputova, expressed her shock and dismay at the violent act, describing it as “brutal and ruthless.” She extended her hopes for Fico’s recovery in a heartfelt message.

Robert Fico, 59, returned to power last September leading a populist-nationalist coalition. His recent months in office have been marked by controversial decisions, including a halt to military aid to Ukraine and efforts to abolish the public broadcaster RTVS.

These actions have significantly heightened political tensions within the country.

The shooting occurred while Parliament was in session, and emotions ran high among the lawmakers, with a party colleague of Fico’s accusing opposition members of inciting the violence, Slovak media reported.

The coming days are expected to be critical for both the Prime Minister’s recovery and the nation’s political climate.

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