Updated

A suspect has been taken into custody Wednesday after Slovakia's Prime Minister Robert Fico was shot multiple times, leaving him in a "life-threatening condition."

The shooting happened in Handlova, about 90 miles northeast of the capital of Bratislava. 

A statement on Fico's Facebook page says he has "been shot multiple times and is currently in life-threatening condition." He is expected to receive a medical procedure, it added, noting that "the next few hours will decide."

The Associated Press reported that Defense Minister Robert Kalina told reporters outside the hospital that medical teams were still fighting to save Fico's life.

Kalina said an operation on Fico was not yet complete and described his condition as "extraordinarily serious."

"Utterly shocked by today's brutal attack on Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico, which I condemn in strongest possible terms," Slovakia President Zuzana ?aputová wrote on X.

THOUSANDS RALLY IN SLOVAKIA TO PROTEST OVERHAUL OF PUBLIC BROADCASTING

Suspect detained after Slovakia PM shot

A person is detained following the shooting of Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico in Handlova, on Wednesday, May 15. (Reuters/Radovan Stoklasa)

President Biden condemned the attack – calling it a "horrific act of violence" – and said "Jill and I are praying for a swift recovery, and our thoughts are with his family and the people of Slovakia. "

In the wake of the shooting, Slovakia’s major opposition parties, Progressive Slovakia and Freedom and Solidarity, canceled a planned protest against a controversial government plan to overhaul public broadcasting that they say would give the government full control of public radio and television.

"We absolutely and strongly condemn violence and today's shooting of Premier Robert Fico," said Progressive Slovakia leader Michal Simecka. "At the same time we call on all politicians to refrain from any expressions and steps which could contribute to further increasing the tension."

Robert Fico taken to hospital

Rescue workers take Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who was shot and injured, to a hospital in the town of Banska Bystrica in central Slovakia on Wednesday, May 15.? (Jan Kroslak/TASR via AP)

Slovakia, a country of 5.5 million people that shares a border with Ukraine, also has been a staunch supporter of Kyiv since Russia invaded in February 2022, donating arms and opening its borders for refugees fleeing the war.

But Fico has stopped military aid. He also opposes European Union sanctions on Russia and wants to block Ukraine from joining NATO, according to The Associated Press.

Slovakia PM shooting arrest

A person is seen being taken into custody Wednesday at the scene of the shooting in Handlova, Slovakia.? (Reuters/Radovan Stoklasa)

Fico, a third-time premier, and his leftist Smer, or Direction, party, won Slovakia’s Sept. 30 parliamentary elections, staging a political comeback after campaigning on a pro-Russian and anti-American message.

Critics are worried Slovakia under Fico will abandon the country’s pro-Western course and follow the direction of Hungary under populist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the AP reports.

Orban wrote on X following the shooting that he was "deeply shocked by the heinous attack against my friend" and that he is praying for a quick recovery.

In his own statement, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky said "We strongly condemn this act of violence against our neighboring partner state's head of government" and that "Every effort should be made to ensure that violence does not become the norm in any country, form, or sphere. "

Images taken from the area where the shooting happened Wednesday showed a male individual being detained by authorities and Fico being rushed into a vehicle. The motive for the shooting is unclear.

SLOVAKIA'S PUBLIC BROADCASTING OVERHAUL ALLOWS GOVERNMENT TO CONTROL MEDIA, CRITICS SAY

Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico

Chairman of SMER-Social Democracy party Robert Fico arrives at his party's headquarters in Bratislava, Slovakia, in October 2023.? (AP/Petr David Josek)

Reports on TA3, a Slovakian TV station, said that Fico, 59, was hit in the stomach after four shots were fired outside the House of Culture in Handlova.

The Government Office of the Slovak Republic did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

Fico's government won a mandatory confidence vote in Parliament in November last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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