• Saturday, 15 June 2024

Slovakia's Fico 'stabilized but remains serious' after shooting

Slovakia's Fico 'stabilized but remains serious' after shooting

Bratislava, 16 May 2024 (dpa/MIA) - The condition of Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was shot and critically injured in an assassination attempt on Wednesday, has "stabilized but remains serious," Defence Minister Robert Kalinak told the news agency TASR on Thursday.

Environment Minister Tomas Taraba said earlier that Fico was no longer in a life-threatening condition. The previous evening officials had said his life could be at risk after the shooting.

Fico was flown to hospital by helicopter after the attack and immediately went into surgery.

Fico was in surgery for five hours, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The suspected shooter, who was detained at the scene, is a 71-year-old man from the town of Levice, according to Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok. Initial questioning had revealed a "clear political motive," according to the minister.

Eyewitnesses reported on television that five shots were fired in front of the House of Culture in Handlová, a town nearly 200 kilometres north-east of the capital Bratislava.

The attack occurred as Fico went outside to shake hands after a Cabinet meeting. One of the shots hit him in the chest. The local television station RTV Prievidza published a video of the incident showing a man pushing against the fence and shooting at the prime minister from close range.

The government is set to convene for an emergency meeting at 11 am (0900 GMT).

Photo: EPA