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Suspect in Slovakia after shooting restrained prime minister in dramatic footage, identified as 71-year-old writer | Watch

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was seriously injured by gunfire on Wednesday, is now out of danger. Fico, 59, prime minister of Europe’s small landlocked country, was greeting supporters at an event when the assassination attempt took place, shocking the continent weeks before the election.

Five shots were fired in front of a cultural center in the town of Handlova, almost 140 kilometers northeast of the capital. Fico was shot dead while attending a meeting of his government in the town of 16,000 that was once a center of coal mining. The gunman shot Fico five times, initially leaving him in critical condition and undergoing surgery hours later. One bullet reportedly passed through Fico’s stomach and a second hit a joint.

Caught on cam

Rescue workers carry gunshot wound Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico to a hospital in the central Slovak town of Banska Bystrica, Wednesday, May 15, 2024. (AP)

Who is Fico’s suspected shooter?

The suspect arrested for shooting the Slovak prime minister is a 71-year-old writer from the central European nation, the interior minister announced Wednesday. “I think I can confirm it, yes,” Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok told reporters when asked about information identifying the man arrested at the scene of the shooting in the town of Handlova.

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A gray-haired suspect was seen handcuffed on the ground just after Fico was shot multiple times following a government meeting in Handlova. According to media reports, the suspect was one of the founders of the literary club DUHA (Rainbow) and was from the town of Levice.

Media reports, which also mention his name, indicate that he has written three collections of poetry and is a member of the official Association of Slovak Writers. The association confirmed on Facebook that the man had been a member since 2015, adding that if his identity as the alleged shooter was confirmed, “this despicable person’s membership will be immediately canceled.”

“Why did this happen?” »

Authorities said Wednesday evening that Fico was no longer in life-threatening condition. “I was very shocked… fortunately, as far as I know, the operation went well – and I assume in the end he will survive… his life is not in danger at the moment “, said Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Environment Tomas Taraba. BBC Newshour.

The suspect’s son told Slovak news site aktuality.sk that he had “absolutely no idea what his father was thinking, what he was planning, why this happened.” He said his father was a legally registered gun owner. When asked if he felt hatred toward Fico, the son said, “I’ll tell you this: He didn’t vote for him. That’s all I can say about it.

Vlasta Kollarova, director of a local library in the man’s hometown, told daily Dennik N: “He was rebellious when he was young, but not aggressive.” Several of the man’s political statements could be found on social media. “The world is full of violence and weapons. People seem to be going crazy,” he said in a video posted online eight years ago.

In the video, he also spoke about his concerns about immigration, “hate and extremism” and said European governments “have no alternative to this chaos.” He also said in the video that he had founded a “Movement Against Violence” in Levice. The movement, which also has its Facebook page, defines itself as “an emerging political party whose aim is to prevent the spread of violence in society”. prevent war in Europe and the spread of hatred. »

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  • Rohit

    Rohit is a sub-editor of News18.com covering international news. He had previously w

    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia

    first publication: May 16, 2024, 07:17 IST