Robert Fico 'stabilised' after surgery but remains in 'serious' condition after assassination attempt

    The Hawk
    May16/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    The suspected gunman has been detained, with President Zuzana Caputova condemning the attack as a brutal assault on democracy.

    Slovak PM Robert Fico

    Bratislava [Slovakia]: Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico, is now in a 'stable' condition, but remains serious after he was shot on Wednesday (local time) in Handlova from a close range, according to CNN.
    His deputy said on Thursday that the Slovak premier has undergone surgery, following the assassination attempt that rocked the European nation yesterday, which received reactions from several global leaders.

    Attacks on the 59-year-old populist leader followed an off-site government meeting in the town of Handlova on Wednesday. The leader came back to power last year, and his contentious measures have prompted protests in recent weeks.
    As the prime minister walked up to a small group of people who were expecting him, a possible shooter in the crowd jumped forward and opened fire on him five times from the other side of a security screen, reported CNN.
    The wounded prime minister was seen on camera being helped into a car by his staff before it quickly drove off with him inside.
    According to hospital officials, Fico was evacuated from a neighbouring major trauma centre to a smaller hospital where he was admitted and spent more than five hours in surgery.
    Fico was "stabilised but in a very serious condition," according to hospital director Miriam Lapunikova on Thursday, and he would stay in the intensive care unit.
    She further mentioned that the prime minister was operated on by two surgical teams at the hospital, according to CNN.
    On Thursday morning, the country's Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Robert Kalinak said Fico's condition "has been stabilized overnight, more steps are being taken to better his health. The situation is really serious."
    The assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico has sent shockwaves throughout Slovakia.
    The incident occurred following an off-site government meeting in the central Slovak town of Handlova.
    The suspected gunman, among a small crowd awaiting the Prime Minister outside the cultural centre where the meeting took place, reportedly targeted Fico. Footage from the scene captured the Prime Minister being rushed into a vehicle by his staff before being taken to a local hospital and later transferred to a major trauma centre in Banska Bystrica. Fortunately, no other injuries were reported in the attack.
    Slovak President Zuzana Caputova confirmed the detainment of the suspected gunman by police, urging the public to await further information from law enforcement agencies. Caputova condemned the attack as a "brutal and reckless" assault on democracy. She underscored the significance of the incident as an attack not only on an individual but on the democratic principles of the nation.
    The attack on Prime Minister Fico comes at a time of deep political polarisation in Slovakia. Fico's return to power last year sparked widespread division, with supporters viewing him as a caring leader while critics perceive him as a populist with pro-Russian leanings.