Slovak Prime Minister shot in assassination attempt

Slovak Prime Minister shot in assassination attempt

On Wednesday in the afternoon, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot and injured by a 71 year old man in Handlová, a small town in Western Slovakia, where the government was holding its session.

This was the first assassination attempt aimed at a high profile politician in the Slovak history and the first assassination attempt in the EU territory since 1986. At that time, the PM of Sweden Olaf Palme was assassinated and died.

After the end of the government session around half past 2 in the afternoon, the Prime Minister came to greet a crowd of about 30 people that had gathered in front of the local cultural centre. He was greeted with applause. The PM came closer to the barriers and started to shake hands with the gathered bystanders. At that time, 5 gunshots were heard and the Prime Minister was apparently hit. 

The Prime Minister was then transported to the local hospital. According to initial information, he was then supposed to be transported to Bratislava by helicopter. However, the government office issued a statement that his condition is life-threatening and he will be instead transported to Banská Bystrica, a city in central Slovakia that was closer, because he needed urgent care.

During the operation, information was scarce, an embargo on information was issued and hospital staff were banned from using their mobile phones. Shortly after 8 pm, Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak addressed the media, informing that the PM has suffered a serious polytrauma and his condition is serious.


Martin Bednárik, Photo: TASR

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