Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico reportedly injured in shooting

Bratislava, Slovakia — Media reports said Slovakia’s populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was injured in a shooting Wednesday and taken to a hospital. The incident took place in the town of Handlova, some 90 miles northeast of the capital, according to the news television station TA3. A suspect has been detained, it said. A spokesman for Slovakia’s Interior Ministry called it an assassination attempt, according to CBS News’ partner network BBC News.

Deputy speaker of parliament Lubos Blaha confirmed the incident during a session of parliament and adjourned the legislature until further notice, the Slovak TASR news agency said. 

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico speaks during a press conference in Berlin, Germany, Jan. 24, 2024.

Nadja Wohlleben/REUTERS


The incident took place in front of the local House of Culture, where Fico came to meet supporters. Police sealed off the scene and photos from the scene showed at least one man being taken into custody. Witnesses reported hearing four shots, according to the BBC.

A reporter for the daily newspaper Dennik N heard shooting and then saw rescuers carrying the premier to a car. 

Fico has served in his nation’s top job for a total of about 10 years — longer than any predecessor, according to the BBC — over the course of multiple terms.

Shooting incident of Slovak PM Robert Fico after Slovak government meeting in Handlova
A person is detained after a shooting incident in which Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was injured after a meeting in Handlova, Slovakia, May 15, 2024.

Radovan Stoklasa/REUTERS


Local media said Fico was hit in the abdomen, but the extent of his injuries remained unclear.

Slovak President Zuzana Caputova condemned “a brutal and ruthless” attack on the premier.

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

A journalist in the country speaking with the BBC said Fico had been a controversial but powerful figure in Slovak politics for many years, seen recently as sympathetic to Russia and often at odds with the European Union, though his stance has shifted during his long career.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

This post was originally published on CBS News

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