May 21, 2024

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico Shot, Suspect Arrested

The Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot throughout a public assembly in a mountainous central district of the nation, a witness speaks of his head and chest having “bloody injuries”.

A gunman shot not too long ago re-elected left-populist Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico on Wednesday afternoon within the central city of Handlova, within the mountainous Trenčín Region. Slovakian publication Denník N reports Fico was assembly members of the general public at a neighborhood cultural centre when pictures rang out. A witness is reported to have mentioned: “When the shots rang out, they were deafening” and that she had seen Fico fall to the bottom with “bloody injuries on his chest and head”.

An alleged gunman has been arrested.

UPDATE 1555 BST: Foreign Minister says he believes Fico will get better

Juraj Blanár, the Slovak overseas minister has mentioned Fico was hit “several times” at “close range” by the would-be murderer and is in “very serious condition”. Nevertheless, he made an expression of hope, saying: “We all believe that the Prime Minister will handle this difficult fight.”

Whether that is an expression that Fico’s prognosis is enhancing or mere phrases of hope is but to be seen.

UPDATE 1515 BST: Prime Minister Fico in Critical Condition

The Office of the Prime Minister has released a statement via Fico’s private Facebook web page, relating that he’s in crucial situation and has been evacuated by helicopter. They mentioned:

R. Fico was [subjected to an attempted assassination] at present. He was shot a number of occasions and is at present in a life-threatening situation. At this second, he’s being transported by helicopter to Banská Bystrica, as a result of it could take too lengthy to get to Bratislava because of the necessity of an [urgent surgery] . The subsequent few hours will resolve.

Reuters experiences 4 pictures had been fired, and one in every of them hit Fico within the stomach.

(Photo by Yasin Demirci/Anadolu through Getty Images)

The authentic story continues beneath

Footage shared from the scene reveals bodyguards decide up Fico and rush him to his limousine, which then speeds away. In the foreground, police might be seen piling on to what would be the suspect on the bottom.

Slovakian President Zuzana Čaputová referred to as the obvious tried assassination as brutal, and mentioned: “I am shocked. I wish Roberto Fico a lot of strength at this critical moment to recover from the attack”, reports nationwide broadsheet newspaper SME. The Slovakian parliament and a gathering of the federal government has been suspended.

The taking pictures was instantly met with anger in Parliament, Denník N experiences. It is said Richard Glück of Fico’s personal celebration the left-wing-nationalist Direction – Social Democracy (‘Smer’) stormed into the parliamentary chamber and shouted at members of the opposition that Fico had been shot due to their rhetoric. Per the report, Glück was criticised by others for not appearing with the decorum of a public official, and the Parliament’s speaker in flip mentioned Glück ought to be given understanding for his emotional state has the pinnacle of his celebration had simply been shot.

Tomáš Taraba, the Slovak atmosphere minister and one of many nation’s 4 deputy Prime Ministers wrote instantly after the taking pictures that: “The entire hateful opposition has blood on their hands”.

Fico was re-elected to the Slovakian leadership on the finish of final 12 months, having already held the submit twice earlier than. An economically left-wing populist with a robust concentrate on border management and Slovakia for the Slovakians, he has been called “Slovakia’s Trump” up to now for his opposition to mass migration to Slovakia and criticisms of unfair elections. The politician can be a Eurosceptic and a robust ideological opponent of the coronavirus lockdowns, and in a exceptional flip of occasions was arrested on live television in 2021 for brazenly defying the then-government’s covid guidelines.

More not too long ago, criticism of Fico from the European mainstream has focussed on his opposition to the warfare in Ukraine, resulting in some to accuse him of being “pro-Putin”. Fico, for his half, strongly denied these assertions and said he isn’t pro-Russian, simply anti-war. Fico has not too long ago urged Ukraine ought to be willing to cede territory to Moscow to get peace, and has strongly rejected suggestions by French President Emmanuel Macron that NATO ought to deploy troops to Ukraine itself.

This story is growing, extra follows.