Slovak PM 'out of life threatening situation' after being shot five times in the stomach during assassination attempt

Slovak PM 'out of life threatening situation' after being shot five times in the stomach during assassination attempt
BREAKING: Slovakia's longest serving Prime Minister in history shot in 'brutal attack'
GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 15/05/2024

- 14:16

Updated: 15/05/2024

- 21:14

Shots were heard in Handlova, Slovakia outside the government meeting

The Prime Minister of Slovakia is no longer in a life threatening situation. after being shot in the stomach, leg and arm while leaving a government meeting.

Prime Minister Robert Fico was lifted from the ground by security guards in the town in Slovakia and loaded into a car before being driven away.

Slovakia's deputy prime minister believes Fico "will survive" after he was shot five times and was transported by a helicopter to Banska Bystrica hospital.

Defence Minister Robert Kalinak said the prime minister was still in surgery and had been for a number of hours.

\u200bThe Slovakian PM was taken to hospital

The Slovakian PM was taken to hospital


\u200bRobert Fico is bundled into a car after being shot

Robert Fico is bundled into a car after being shot


Rishi Sunak said on social media: "Shocked to hear this awful news. All our thoughts are with Prime Minister Fico and his family."

Slovakia's President Elect Peter Pellegrini said: "An assassination attempt on one of the highest constitutional officials is an unprecedented threat to Slovak democracy.

"If we express different political opinions with guns in the squares, and not in polling stations, we endanger everything we have built together in 31 years of Slovak sovereignty." I wish the Prime Minister a swift recovery and healing. And I earnestly hope that such senseless and brutal acts become the subject of universal condemnation."

One eyewitness told local media she heard four shots, adding: "When the shots rang out, I almost became deaf."

Fico, a populist Left-winger, has been PM since 2023, having served previously from 2006 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2018. He has caused controversy throughout Europe for his pro-Russian stance. He has previously pledged to end Western arms deliveries heading to Ukraine through Slovakia.


Fico being moved into a car

Security officers move Slovak PM Robert Fico in a car after a shooting incident


The suspected attacker has been named in local media as Juraj Cintula, a 71-year-old man from Levice, a town in western Slovakia. He is alleged to have owned the gun used in the shooting legally and is under arrest.

US President Joe Biden said: "I am alarmed to hear reports of an attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. We condemn this horrific act of violence. Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist."

Portuguese Prime Minister Luis Montenegro said: "On behalf of Portugal and myself, I express all my solidarity with my colleague Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia, wishing him full recovery. We condemn in the strongest terms this unacceptable and barbaric act of political violence."

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said: "I wish him strength for a speedy recovery. My thoughts are with Robert Fico, his loved ones, and the people of Slovakia."

A man being arrested

A person is detained after a shooting incident after Slovak government meeting in Handlova


The Slovak emergency service dispatched a helicopter to a 59-year-old man in Handlova after receiving information that he had been shot, it said in a post on Facebook, adding that the action was still underway.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen condemned what she described as a vile attack on Fico.

She said: "I strongly condemn the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico. Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good. My thoughts are with PM Fico, and his family."

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said: "I was deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend, Prime Minister Robert Fico. We pray for his health and quick recovery! God bless him and his country!"

\u200bA person is detained after shooting incident of Slovak PM Robert Fico

A person is detained after shooting incident of Slovak PM Robert Fico


Following the shooting, Slovakia's biggest opposition party called off a planned protest against government public broadcaster reforms set for Wednesday evening.

Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said: "Deeply shocked by the assassination attempt of Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico. An attack against an elected leader is also an attack against the very idea of democracy. I wish him a full and speedy recovery. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones."

Ukrainian President Zelensky said: "The attack on Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico is appalling. We strongly condemn this act of violence against our neighbouring partner state's head of government.

"Every effort should be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country, form, or sphere. We sincerely hope Robert Fico recovers soon and express our solidarity with the people of Slovakia."

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