Prime Minister Injured After Assassination Attempt

Banska Bystrica, Slovakia – Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was critically injured in an assassination attempt on Wednesday, shocking the nation and prompting international condemnation. The attack took place in the central city of Handlova, following a government meeting attended by Fico. He was immediately transported to a local hospital, and due to the severity of his injuries, he was airlifted to Banska Bystrica for urgent medical treatment.

Eyewitnesses reported multiple gunshots after the government meeting in Handlova, where the police later apprehended a suspect. Security officials were seen escorting an individual into a vehicle before speeding away. The government office confirmed that the assassination attempt targeted Prime Minister Fico during an off-site government gathering. Emergency Services swiftly responded to a distress call and dispatched an emergency helicopter to assist the 59-year-old patient, who suffered abdominal injuries.

The attack sent shockwaves through the European Union and NATO, with member states expressing dismay and condemning the act of violence. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, led the international condemnation, highlighting that such violent acts undermine democracy and have no place in society.

Fico, who recently began his fourth term as prime minister, has faced a changing political landscape throughout his thirty-year career, oscillating between pro-European mainstream and nationalistic stances. The Slovak government had been touring the country following their rise to power, aiming to connect with citizens and address pressing issues.

Slovakia’s largest opposition party canceled a planned protest against government public broadcaster reforms in response to the shooting. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Austria’s conservative Chancellor Karl Nehammer expressed their shock and condemnation, emphasizing the unwavering commitment to non-violent politics in Europe.