Slovakia’s prime minster Robert Fico is in a life-threatening condition after being shot.

He has been taken to hospital by helicopter in what has been described as a crucial few hours for the Slovak premier.

The incident took place outside the House of Culture in the town of Handlova, where Mr Fico had been meeting supporters.

A suspect has been detained.

Follow live: President condemns ‘brutal’ attack

Slovakia’s interior ministry confirmed that an assassination attempt had been carried out.

He was conscious when he was taken to hospital, a spokesperson said, and was treated for shot wounds.

Four shots were fired after a government meeting, with one hitting the prime minister in the abdomen.

Emergency services said they dispatched a helicopter to a 59-year-old man in Handlova after receiving a report of a shooting.

Security officers move Slovak PM Robert Fico in a car after the incident. Pic: Reuters

pic: Reuters
A person is detained after shooting incident of Slovak PM Robert Fico, after a Slovak government meeting in Handlova, Slovakia, May 15, 2024. REUTERS/Radovan Stoklasa
A person is detained. Pic: Reuters

Two people who were with Mr Fico at the moment he was shot told local news outlet Diary N about the moment it happened.

“I was just going to shake his hand,” said one. “When the shots rang out, I almost became deaf,” said the other, who did not want to give her name. She heard three or four shots.

She saw Fico fall to the ground in front of her and says she noticed bloody injuries on his chest and head.

President Zuzana Caputova condemned “a brutal and ruthless” attack on the premier.

“I’m shocked,” Ms Caputova said. “I wish Robert Fico a lot of strength in this critical moment and a quick recovery from this attack.”

Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz said he was “shocked” by the attack and said violence has no place in politics.

Handlova is located some 150 kilometres (93 miles) north east of the capital Bratislava.

File pic: AP
FILE - Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico arrives for the V4 meeting in Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Media reports say on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 that Slovakia...s populist Prime Minister Robert Fico was injured in a shooting and taken to hospital. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek, File)
Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico in February. Pic: AP

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