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Video: Assassination attempted on world leader

Police crime scene. (Dreamstime/TNS)
May 15, 2024

A shocking assassination attempt left Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico in “life-threatening condition” on Wednesday.

According to a statement on Fico’s Facebook page, the prime minister was shot “multiple times” and was in “life-threatening condition.” The statement warned that the “next few hours” would decide whether Fico survived the assassination attempt.

According to The Washington Post, the assassination attempt occurred in Handlova after the prime minister attended a Wednesday meeting at the Palace of Culture.

A video of the incident shows the prime minister shaking hands with members of the public who were positioned behind a metal barrier. While the prime minister was shaking hands, a suspect in a white button-down shirt was recorded firing multiple shots at Fico before being apprehended by security officials.

Outgoing Slovakian President Zuzana Caputova announced Wednesday that law enforcement officials had arrested the assassination suspect and expressed her shock at the “malicious attack” against the prime minister.

“An attack on the prime minister is first and foremost an attack on a human being,” she said. “But it’s also an attack on democracy. Any violence is unacceptable. The hateful rhetoric we witness in society leads to hateful acts. Please, let’s stop it.”

Caputova also warned people against making “quick judgments” until additional information is revealed concerning Wednesday’s assassination attempt.

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In a statement on social media, Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia’s president-elect, said Wednesday’s assassination attempt was a “threat to everything that up till now adorned Slovak democracy.” Pellegrini warned that if political differences are expressed “with guns in the squares” instead of “in polling stations,” the country would “endanger everything we have built together in 31 years of Slovak sovereignty.”

President Joe Biden joined world leaders in condemning Wednesday’s assassination attempt against the Slovakian prime minister. “We condemn this horrific act of violence,” Biden wrote in a statement. “Our embassy is in close touch with the government of Slovakia and ready to assist.”

While Slovakian officials have not yet disclosed the suspect’s motive for Wednesday’s attack, ABC News noted that the prime minister has previously faced controversy for opposing financial aid to Ukraine.