Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico expected to survive following assassination attempt

Fico underwent emergency surgery after being shot five times.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico expected to survive following assassination attempt
AP Photo/Denes Erdos
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Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, 59, is expected to survive after being shot five times in what officials describe as a "politically motivated" attack on Wednesday.

The attack occurred after a government meeting in Handlova, where the suspected gunman, believed to be 71-year-old leftist writer and activist Juraj Cintula, opened fire on Fico from close range as he walked towards a group of supporters.

Deputy Prime Minister Tomáš Taraba told BBC that Fico suffered serious injuries, with one bullet passing through his stomach and another hitting his joints. Despite the severity of the attack, Taraba expressed optimism about Fico's recovery, stating, "Fortunately, as far as I know, the operation went well and I guess in the end he will survive."

Fico was elected prime minister last October on a campaign that criticized Slovakia's military aid to Ukraine during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. Since taking office, he has faced criticism from opponents who view him as a Kremlin sympathizer. Fico previously served as prime minister from 2006 to 2010 and again from 2012 to 2018, before resigning amid a corruption scandal following the murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée, Martina Kušnírová.

The assassination attempt has sent shockwaves through Slovakia and the international community. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova expressed her shock and strongly condemned the attack.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban offered his prayers, stating: “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!”

President Joe Biden also commented on the attack, saying, “I am alarmed to hear reports of an attack on Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Jill and I are praying for a swift recovery, and our thoughts are with his family and the people of Slovakia. We condemn this horrific act of violence. Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist.”

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