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Man Charged With Attempted Murder Of Slovak Prime Minister After Shooting Attack

A 71-year-old suspect has been charged with attempted murder of Slovak Prime Minister after shooting him five times.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico narrowly escaped death in a shocking shooting attack, leading to the arrest of a 71-year-old suspect, who now faces charges of attempted murder.

The assailant, whose identity has not been officially disclosed but is widely known in Slovak reports to be from the town of Levice, could potentially receive a life sentence for the brazen attempt on Fico’s life. Slovak news media have said the shooter is a former security guard at a shopping mall and the author of three collections of poetry. There has been no official confirmation of his identity.

The prime minister, aged 59, remains in serious but stable condition after sustaining multiple gunshot wounds in what authorities have labeled as a politically motivated assault.

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok revealed that the suspect acted alone, shedding light on his previous participation in anti-government protests and attributing the acceleration of his actions to dissatisfaction with the outcome of the recent presidential election, won by Peter Pellegrini, a populist and ally of Robert Fico.

“This is a lone wolf whose actions were accelerated after the presidential election since he was dissatisfied with its outcome,” he said.

The harrowing incident unfolded in broad daylight on Wednesday as Fico, amidst a crowd of supporters, was targeted by the gunman at close range, sustaining five gunshot wounds to the stomach and arm.

The attack took Mr Fico’s security detail completely by surprise, but his security personnel swiftly responded to the situation, bundling the wounded PM into a car, before driving away at high speed, while the others detained the suspect.

Fico was rushed to a hospital in an air ambulance, where his injuries were deemed life-threatening, necessitating immediate medical attention.

Fico was then transferred to a specialised facility in Banska Bystrica, where medical teams labored tirelessly through the night to stabilise his condition.

Miriam Lapunikova, director of the F.D. Roosevelt University Hospital in Banska Bystrica where Fico is being treated, said he had undergone five hours of surgery with two teams to treat multiple gunshot wounds.

While the hospital director affirmed Fico’s stability, she underscored the severity of the injuries, emphasising the critical nature of his situation, adding that he had been moved to an intensive care unit.

“At this point his condition is stabilised but is truly very serious. He will be in the intensive care unit,” she said.

Peter Pellegrini, visibly shaken by the incident, conveyed his support for Fico, even visiting him and reporting that Fico was able to speak a few sentences.

Pellegrini said, “The situation is very critical and we have to give him a lot of energy and be positive. He is able to speak but only a few sentences and then he is really tired because he is on some medication”.

The shooting was the first major assassination attempt on a European political leader for more than 20 years.

Police said they had boosted security at Slovakia’s parliament and also around media offices and schools.

Melissa Enoch

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