Internet InfoMedia attempted assassination of slovakias robert fico puts europe on edge

Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, an ally of Vladimir V. Putin and Viktor Orban, was shot multiple times on Wednesday, stoking fears that Europe’s polarized politics were tipping into violence.

A gunman shot Prime Minister Robert Fico of Slovakia, who is known for defying his fellow leaders in the European Union, multiple times at close range on Wednesday, in the most serious attack on a European leader in decades.

Mr. Fico was shot after emerging from the House of Culture in Handlova, a town in central Slovakia, as he greeted a small crowd in Banikov Square. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, then airlifted to another hospital for emergency surgery.

Hours later, the deputy prime minister, Tomas Taraba, told the BBC that Mr. Fico’s situation was no longer life-threatening, and he expected the prime minister to survive.

The gunman, identified by Slovak news outlets as a 71-year-old poet, was immediately wrestled to the ground by security officers.

The interior minister, Matus Sutaj Estok, said at a news conference that Mr. Fico was shot five times and that the initial evidence “clearly points to a political motivation.” Asked to name the attacker, he said, “Not today.”

The attempted assassination stoked fears that Europe’s increasingly polarized and venomous political debates had tipped into violence.



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Internet InfoMedia map Artboard 1

City

hall

Banikov

Square

House of

Culture

Location of

attack

SLOVAKIA

Handlova

Handlova

train station

Internet InfoMedia map Artboard 2

City

hall

Banikov

Square

House of

Culture

Location of

attack

SLOVAKIA

Handlova

Handlova

train station

Source: Satellite imagery from Airbus via Google Earth

By The New York Times

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