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

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico's condition has stabilised overnight but is still "very serious", the deputy prime minister said on Thursday – a day after Fico was shot multiple times.

Surgeons spent hours in the operating theatre overnight, battling to save the 59-year-old leader after the attack, which has been condemned around the world.

"During the night doctors managed to stabilise the patient's condition," deputy prime minister Robert Kalinak told reporters gathered at the hospital where the Slovak premier was being treated.

"Unfortunately, the condition is still very serious as the injuries are complicated," added Kalinak, who is also the defence minister and Fico's close ally hailing from his Smer-SD party.

The director of the Banska Bystrica hospital, where the Slovak premier was transported after sustaining gunshot wounds, said Fico underwent a five-hour surgery carried out by two teams.

"He will stay at the intensive care unit," Miriam Lapunikova said.

Shock attack

Footage of events just after the shooting showed security agents grabbing a wounded Fico from the ground and hustling him into a black car. Other police handcuffed a man on the pavement nearby.

Police detained a suspect at the site of the attack in Handlova, President Zuzana Caputova told reporters.

Kalinak said earlier the attack was a political assault. "It's absolutely clear, and we have to react on that."

Fico, whose Smer-SD party won the general election last September, is a four-time prime minister and political veteran accused of swaying his country's foreign policy in favour of the Kremlin.

Suspect not named

(with AFP)

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