Slovakia's Prime Minister Fico expected to survive after being shot

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico isno longer in a life-threatening condition after he was shot in an assassination attempt when leaving a government meeting on Wednesday, a government minister said.

The gunman shot Fico, 59, five times, initially leaving the prime minister in critical condition and undergoing surgery hours later on Wednesday evening.

"I was very shocked ... fortunately as far as I know the operation went well - and I guess in the end he will survive ... he's not in a life-threatening situation at this moment," Slovak Deputy Prime Minister and Environment Minister Tomas Taraba told the BBC's Newshour.

Taraba said one bullet went through Fico's stomach and a second hit a joint.

News outlet Aktuality.sk cited an unnamed source saying Fico was out of surgery and in stable condition.

Defence Minister Robert Kalinak told a news briefing hours earlier that Fico had suffered "serious polytrauma" after several shot wounds.

Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok had said earlier that Fico was in a life-threatening condition while he remained in the operating room.

"This assassination (attempt) was politically motivated and the perpetrator's decision was born closely after the presidential election," Sutaj Estok said, referring to an April election won by a Fico ally, Peter Pellegrini.

The country of 5.4 million has seen polarised political debate in recent years, including the hard-fought presidential election last month that helped tighten Fico's grip on power.


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