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Slovakian PM injured in assassination attempt by 71-year-old shooter

Photo : AP

Bratislava witnessed a chilling incident as Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico fell victim to a shooting, allegedly orchestrated by a 71-year-old writer from the heart of the European nation. Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok confirmed reports linking the suspect detained at the scene in Handlova to the identity revealed by media outlets.

Eyewitnesses recounted the distressing scene: a grey-haired suspect was swiftly subdued by authorities moments after Fico was brutally shot multiple times following a government meeting in Handlova. Late into the night, officials delivered grim news, stating that Fico, known for his populist policies, was in a critical condition, fighting for his life.

Media scrutiny intensified, shedding light on the alleged assailant's background. Reports indicated he was a founding member of the DUHA (Rainbow) Literary Club and hailed from Levice. Descriptions painted him as a published poet with three collections to his credit, holding membership in the prestigious Association of Slovak Writers.

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Responding to the shocking revelations, the Association swiftly addressed the matter on social media, affirming the suspect's membership status and pledging immediate termination should his involvement in the shooting be verified.

Meanwhile, the suspect's son, grappling with the sudden turn of events, expressed bewilderment, asserting ignorance regarding his father's motives or plans leading up to the incident. He disclosed his father's legal ownership of firearms but remained perplexed by the violent turn of events.

Inquiries delved into the suspect's past, with acquaintances describing a complex persona. Vlasta Kollarova, head of a local library in Levice, recalled his rebellious nature in youth, yet noted no prior signs of aggression. However, social media traces revealed a deeper, more politically charged side to his character.

In a video from eight years prior, the suspect voiced concerns about escalating violence and societal unrest, touching on issues of immigration, extremism, and governmental failures. His commentary hinted at a civic engagement, mentioning the establishment of a "Movement Against Violence" in Levice, aimed at combating societal discord and fostering peace.

The movement's online presence echoes his sentiments, advocating for non-violence and denouncing hatred and conflict. As investigations unfold, the community grapples with the shocking revelation of violence perpetrated by a figure previously associated with literary pursuits and purportedly peaceful activism.

May 16, 2024 12:41 p.m. 6472

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