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UPDATE: Polish leaders condemn attack on Slovak PM

15.05.2024 17:00
Polish leaders have condemned Wednesday's attack on the Slovak prime minister, saying they were shocked by the news.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico.Photo: EPA/MARTIN DIVISEK

Slovakia's pro-Russian Prime Minister Robert Fico suffered life-threatening injuries when he was shot and wounded in an attempted assassination on Wednesday, according to media reports.

'The cruelty of this attack is unimaginable': Polish president

Poland's President Andrzej Duda wrote on social media that he was "shocked by the assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico."

Duda added: "The cruelty of this attack is unimaginable. My thoughts and prayers are with Robert Fico, his family and the people of Slovakia."

'Robert, my thoughts are with you in this very difficult moment': Polish PM

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said in a post on the X social media platform: "Shocking news from Slovakia. Robert, my thoughts are with you in this very difficult moment."

'I am shocked by the attack': Polish FM

Poland's top diplomat Radosław Sikorski wrote: "I am shocked by the attack on the Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. I hope for the Prime Minister's speedy recovery and for the clarification of all circumstances surrounding this terrible event."

'Such acts of violence have no place in our society': EU's von der Leyen

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen strongly condemned "the vile attack," she said on X.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

"Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good," she added. "My thoughts are with PM Fico and his family."

'Nothing can ever justify violence': EU's Michel

European Council President Charles Michel said on X he was shocked by the news.

"Nothing can ever justify violence or such attacks," Michel said.

Slovak PM shot and injured: reports

Fico, 59, was shot and injured after a government meeting in the town of Handlová in the west of the country, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported, citing Slovak media.

He was rushed to a local hospital with multiple injuries, and then airlifted by helicopter to the central city of Banská Bystrica for urgent treatment, according to the Slovak government.

A witness cited by the Reuters news agency said he heard several shots and that he saw a man being detained by police.

The witness said he saw security officials pushing someone into a car and driving off, Reuters reported.

"An assassination attempt on Prime Minister Robert Fico was carried out today at the government's off-site meeting in Handlová," the government office said in a statement.

"At the moment he is being transported by helicopter to Banska Bystrica, because it would take too long to Bratislava in view of the necessity of an acute intervention," it added.

Slovak broadcaster TA3 reported that four shots were fired, one of which hit Fico in the abdomen.


Source: IAR, polskieradio24.pl, PAP, Reuters

Click on the audio player above to listen to a report by Radio Poland's Michał Owczarek.