Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico injured in shooting

Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico injured in shooting


Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico injured in shooting

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(AFP) - Media reports say Slovakia’s populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was injured in a shooting and taken to hospital. The incident took place in the town of Handlova, some 150 kilometers northeast of the capital, according to the news television station TA3. A suspect has been detained, it said. 

Deputy speaker of parliament Lubos Blaha confirmed the incident during a session of Parliament and adjourned it until further notice, the Slovak TASR news agency said.

The incident took place in front of the local House of Culture, where Fico came to meet with supporters.

Footage posted on X showed panicked scenes with people fleeing the area as police sealed off the scene.

Robert Fico was shot in Handlova following a Slovak government meeting, news agency TASR reported on Wednesday.

A reporter for the daily newspaper Dennik N heard shooting and then saw rescuers carrying the premier to a car.

Slovakia's President Zuzana Caputova condemned “a brutal and ruthless” attack on the premier.

“I’m shocked,” Caputova said. “I wish Robert Fico a lot of strength in this critical moment and a quick recovery from this attack.”

A former bodybuilder, Fico, 59, returned to power in Slovakia after elections last year, at the head of a populist-nationalist coalition.

A fan of Russian President Vladimir Putin and fast cars, Fico ran an anti-migrant campaign and promised to bring "stability, order and well-being" to Slovakia.