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JUST IN: Pro-Russian Slovakian PM shot and injured

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Slovakia’s populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was wounded in a shooting Wednesday afternoon and taken to hospital.

Mr Fico, 59, was hit in the stomach after four shots were fired outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlova, some 150 kilometers northeast of the capital, where the leader was meeting with supporters.

Though, a suspect has been detained, ABC news reported.

Also, a woman at the scene in the town of Handlová was cited by news outlet MNT.SK as saying that she had heard three or four shots.

The populist prime minister won a Sept. 30 general election and has faced widespread criticism for divisive politics in the central European nation with pro-Russian remarks and a push to extend state control over the media.

Politico reports that there was an immediate outpouring of concern and condemnation from political leaders following the attack.

“Utterly shocked by today’s brutal and reckless attack on Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, which I condemn in strongest possible terms,” President Zuzana Čaputová said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

Michal Šimečka, a leader of the political opposition, said he was “shocked and appalled” by the shooting of the prime minister.

“We unequivocally and strongly condemn any violence. We trust that Prime Minister Fico will be fine and that this terrible act will be brought to light as soon as possible,” Šimečka also said on X.

A video apparently filmed at the scene showed Fico’s security detail lifting him under the arms and loading him into the back of a black limousine.

 

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