Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico is suffering from life-threatening injuries after he was wounded in an attempted assassination earlier today, Slovakia's government office says.

The assailant, who fired several shots, has been apprehended. Fico, 59, was initially rushed to the local hospital but is now being transported by helicopter to the city of Banska Bystrica for urgent treatment.

The shooting took place after a government meeting in the city of Handlová. After the meeting, Fico went outside to greet people who had gathered to see him, at which point one of them opened fire.

Fico is known as one of the most pro-Russian politicians in Europe. He opposes providing aid to Ukraine and believes that Ukraine's accession to NATO would lead to a third world war.