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Monday, May 20, 2024


Slovakia’s Prime Minister And Putin’s Ally, Robert Fico, Shot

Slovakia’s Prime Minister, Robert Fico has been shot Wednesday afternoon and rushed off to hospital.

The shooting happened shortly after a government meeting in Handlova, just 150 KM northeast of the capital city, Bratislava. Mr. Fico was shot in front of the local House of Culture, as Mr. Fico was meeting and greeting supporters.

The “Assassination Attempt”

The situation is still unfolding, but a Slovak TV station reports the 59-year-old premier was shot in his stomach, arm, and leg during the daylight attack. However, this has not been officially confirmed.

A suspect has been detained at the scene. Images emerging from the scene show a man in handcuffs pinned to the ground, as the vehicle carrying Mr. Fico sped away.

Click to watch dramatic scene of the assassination attempt on Wednesday May 15, 2024

Eyewitnesses say they heard sounds of gunfire all around, one describing the sound of the shots as deafening.

I was just going to shake his hand,” said a man, who witnessed the shooting and did not wish to be named. His wife added that she had heard three or four shots and said: “When the shots rang out, I almost became deaf.

A Slovak interior ministry spokesperson pointedly called it an “assassination attempt” but provided no further updates on the condition of Fico.

A post on Mr. Fico’s Facebook page following the shooting described his condition as “life-threatening”, although it clarified that Fico was initially treated at a hospital conscious but has been transferred to a higher-level hospital.

His “life functions” had stabilized, the post said.

The Slovakian PM is a known Vladimir Putin’s friend and ally. No one is yet pointing accusing fingers in any direction, but Fico oppose Western sanctions against Moscow. He also stopped military aid from Slovakia to Ukraine after returning to power in 2023

World Leaders React

Leaders across Europe expressed shock and offered their best wishes

Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova condemned the attack, describing it as “brutal and ruthless.

“I strongly condemn the vile attack on prime minister Robert Fico,” EU president Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter.

“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.”

Donald Tusk, Polish Prime Minister and former President of the EU Council, said: “Shocking news from Slovakia. Robert, my thoughts are with you in this very difficult moment.”

Rishi Sunak, the UK PM tweeted, “Shocked to hear this awful news. All our thoughts are with prime inister Fico and his family.”

The shooting comes just three weeks before important European parliament elections, amidst concerns about the rise of populism and hard-rightwing parties in Europe.

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Iheanacho Achugbu
Iheanacho Achugbuhttps://joliba.com.ng
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