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Assassination Attempt on Slovakia’s Prime Minister: Latest Updates on News, Sports, and Jobs

Assassination Attempt on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico Shocks Nation and Europe

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico Shot and Gravely Wounded in Assassination Attempt

BANSKA BYSTRICA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s populist prime minister, Robert Fico, was shot multiple times and gravely wounded Wednesday while greeting supporters at an event in an attempted assassination that shocked the small country and reverberated across Europe weeks before an election.

The incident took place outside a cultural center in the town of Handlova, nearly 85 miles northeast of the capital, where Fico was attending a meeting. The 59-year-old leader was hit in the abdomen and was rushed to a hospital in critical condition.

An initial investigation found that there was a clear political motivation behind the assassination attempt, according to Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok. A suspect is currently in custody.

Fico’s return to power last year on a pro-Russian, anti-American platform had raised concerns among fellow European Union members about Slovakia’s direction. His government’s decision to halt arms deliveries to Ukraine and its anti-Western stance had sparked widespread protests in the country.

The attack comes amid heightened political tensions in Slovakia, with the European Parliament elections just around the corner. Concerns are mounting that populist and nationalist movements could gain traction in the 27-member bloc.

Political figures from across the globe have condemned the attack on Fico. US President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen all expressed shock and dismay over the incident.

As the nation grapples with the aftermath of the assassination attempt, calls for unity and calm have emerged. President-elect Peter Pellegrini described the shooting as an unprecedented threat to Slovak democracy, urging politicians to resolve differences through dialogue rather than violence.

Slovakia’s Parliament has been adjourned until further notice, and major opposition parties have canceled planned protests in light of the incident. The country remains on edge as the world waits for updates on Fico’s condition and the ongoing investigation into the attack.

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