May 26, 2024
Slovakia’s Prime Minister Is Wounded in Attack

Slovakia’s Prime Minister Is Wounded in Attack

Slovakia’s populist prime minister, Robert Fico, was injured in an attack on Wednesday, according to the country’s president.

Local media reported that Mr. Fico, a veteran politician, had been shot and wounded in the central Slovakian town of Handlova, where he had been meeting with supporters.

President Zuzana Caputova, whose pro-Western stance has put her at odds with Mr. Fico, condemned what she described as a “brutal and reckless attack.”

“I am shocked,” she wrote in a message on Facebook. “I wish Robert Fico a lot of strength in this critical moment to recover from the attack.”

The extent of Mr. Fico’s injuries was not immediately known. There was no immediate comment from the prime minister’s office or from the police.

Images from the scene published by the Reuters news agency showing what appeared to be members of Mr. Fico’s security detail running around a black sedan. Other images showed a person handcuffed on the ground at the scene.

Ms. Caputova, whose term ends in June, has used her limited powers to resist Mr. Fico’s drift toward Russia and his efforts to limit the judiciary’s ability to prosecute corruption.

Mr. Fico has aligned with the Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, in opposing aid to Ukraine and challenging mainstream opinions within the European Union.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission who has butted heads with Mr. Fico in the past, said she strongly condemned the “vile attack.”

“Such acts of violence have no place in our society and undermine democracy, our most precious common good,” she wrote on social media.

Mr. Fico, who ended an earlier stint as prime minister by resigning in 2018 amid a swirl of corruption accusations, has also followed Mr. Orban in trying to neuter his country’s judiciary and in casting supporters of Ukraine as disloyal lackeys of the United States.

Mr. Fico returned to power after a general election in September, reviving a political career that many had considered over when he quit amid large street protests after the killing of an investigative journalist who had been looking into government graft.

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