Slovakia’s Prime Minister Fico in life-threatening condition after being shot multiple times

Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico is “life-threatening condition” after being shot Wednesday after a meeting in the town of Handlova, according to his Facebook page.

Fico was shot after holding a Cabinet meeting in the Trenčín region of central Slovakia, according to the Slovak news agency TASR.

post on Fico’s Facebook account said the prime minister was in “life-threatening condition,” and he was transported to the hospital via helicopter.

“The next few hours will decide,” the post reads.

Robert Kaliňák, Slovakia’s minister of defense, said in a press conference that Fico’s surgery had lasted for nearly four hours and his medical condition was “really very complex.”

“We are singularly focused on the health of Robert Fico. And we are hoping he will be strong enough to pull through,” Kaliňák said, per CNN.

An unknown assailant fired at Fico outside the house where the meeting had been held while the prime minister was chatting with supporters, according to the English language newspaper The Slovak Spectator, which reported multiple gunshots before he fell to the ground.

Slovak media outlet Denník N reported that a 71-year-old man was detained in connection with the shooting and that he had used a legally purchased gun.

Fico is a pro-Russian leader who won power for a fourth time in parliament last October.

In April, Peter Pellegrini, a close ally of his, won the presidency, further cementing his party’s grip on power and the push toward more pro-Russia views in Slovakia, heightening hostility with Western nations.

Slovakian Minister of the Interior Matúš Šutaj Eštok said at a press conference that authorities are still investigating the shooting and the suspect and more updates would come Thursday.

“But from what we know right now this was politically motivated,” he said. “And it took place very shortly after the presidential election.”

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

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