Slovakia PM out of danger after being shot multiple times

NEW DELHI: Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is no longer in a life-threatening condition after he was shot in an assassination attempt when leaving a government meeting on Wednesday, a government minister said.
The assailant shot Fico, 59, five times, initially leaving the prime minister in critical condition and necessitating surgery hours later on Wednesday evening.
“I was utterly shocked … fortunately as far as I know the operation went well – and I surmise in the end he will survive … he’s not in a life-threatening situation at this juncture,” Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Minister Tomas Taraba told the BBC’s Newshour.
Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok had said earlier that Fico was in a life-threatening condition while he remained in the operating room. “This assassination (attempt) was politically motivated and the perpetrator’s decision was made closely after the presidential election,” Sutaj Estok said, referring to an April election won by a Fico ally, Peter Pellegrini.
The shooting in the central Slovak town of Handlova, which Slovak media said was carried out by a 71-year-old man, stunned the small central European nation and drew international condemnation.
“I think I can confirm this, yes,” Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok told reporters when asked about reports identifying the man detained at the scene of the shooting in the town of Handlova.
Media reports said the suspect was a founder of the DUHA (Rainbow) Literary Club and was from the town of Levice.
The reports, which also named him, said he has written three poetry collections and is a member of the official Association of Slovak Writers.
Slovakia, a member of NATO and the European Union, has little history of political violence. Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden joined Slovakia‘s EU partners in expressing shock and condemnation of the shooting.
Fico is a dominant force in Slovakia for two decades, has drawn criticism for taking a more pro-Russian stance in the Ukraine war.


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