BANSKA BYSTRICA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico is in stable but serious condition on Thursday after being shot multiple times in an assassination attempt a day earlier, a hospital official said.

Doctors are continuing to treat Fico in an attempt to improve his condition, Defense Minister Robert Kalinak told reporters outside the hospital in Banska Bystrica.

The government says five shots were fired at Fico on Wednesday outside a cultural center where he was meeting with supporters.

A suspect was in custody, and an initial investigation found “a clear political motivation” behind the assassination attempt, Interior Minister Matus Sutaj Estok said Wednesday.

Fico has long been a divisive figure in Slovakia and beyond, but his return to power last year on a pro-Russian, anti-American message led to even greater worries among fellow European Union members that he would lead his country further from the Western mainstream.

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