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Slovak PM Fico critically wounded in assassination attempt 



In a shocking incident that has sent ripples across Europe, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is fighting for his life after being shot multiple times in an assassination attempt on Wednesday. The dramatic scene unfolded in the central Slovak town of Handlova, where security footage captured agents rushing a wounded Fico from the ground and into a black car, which sped away as police handcuffed a suspect nearby. 

The suspected gunman was arrested at the site of the attack, according to outgoing Slovak President Zuzana Caputova, who addressed the media shortly after the unprecedented act of violence. Public television RTVS broadcast images of a stretcher-bound individual being transferred from a helicopter to a hospital by medical personnel. 

Marta Eckhardtova, director of the Handlova local hospital, confirmed that Fico was brought to their vascular surgery clinic for treatment. The 59-year-old Prime Minister, a seasoned political figure and leader of the Smer-SD party which won the general election last September, underwent five hours of surgery and is now in intensive care. 

Fico’s political career has been marked by controversy, particularly due to his alleged pro-Kremlin stance and calls to halt military aid to Ukraine. Despite his divisive reputation, the assassination attempt has drawn widespread condemnation from European leaders, highlighting the attack as a dire threat to democracy. 

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estoka labeled the shooting a politically motivated assassination attempt, emphasizing the gravity of the situation. Local reports identified the suspect as a 71-year-old writer, though police have yet to release an official name. 

The shooting has led to a suspension of protests that have gripped Slovakia in recent weeks, with thousands demonstrating against proposed reforms to the public broadcaster. As the news of the shooting spread, a planned opposition-led demonstration was promptly called off. 

Miriam Lapunikova, director of the F. D. Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica where Fico was admitted, described his condition as “truly very serious” in a press conference. According to reports, Fico was shot at close range, with one bullet piercing his stomach and another injuring a joint. 

As Fico battles life-threatening injuries, the nation waits in suspense, hoping for his recovery while grappling with the broader implications of this violent episode on Slovakia’s political landscape and stability. 

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