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Slovakia’s prime minister shot, in life-threatening condition

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Rescue workers take Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was shot and injured, to a hospital in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, on May 15, 2024.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is fighting for his life after he was shot Wednesday afternoon following a Cabinet meeting in Handlova, his Facebook profile says.

Fico was “shot multiple times and is currently in life-threatening condition,” the Facebook message reads. “At this moment he is transported by helicopter to Banská Bystrica, because it would take too long to get to Bratislava due to the necessity of an acute procedure. The next few hours will decide.”

The 59-year-old prime minister was hit in the abdomen after four shots were fired outside Handlova’s House of Culture, where Fico was meeting with supporters, local media reports said.

Police have detained a suspect, according to TA3, a local media TV station.

A helicopter was sent for the leader, emergency services said.

The left-wing populist prime minister returned to power for the fourth time last year after his party won the parliamentary election on a pro-Russian, anti-American platform.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova denounced the attack.

“I’m shocked,” she said. “I wish Robert Fico a lot of strength in this critical moment and a quick recovery from this attack.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said the attack was a “horrific act of violence.”

“Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist,” Biden said in a Wednesday statement.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly condemns the “shocking attack,” Farhan Haq, a spokesman for the secretary-general, said at a briefing. (VOA)

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