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Bulgaria: Bomb explodes in front of Euroroma headquarters

Sandanski, Bulgaria, 3.7.2012 18:47, (ROMEA)
Headquarters of the Euroroma party in the town of Sandanski immediately after the explosion. (Photo:  Novinite.com)

On Friday, 29 June in the early morning hours a homemade explosive was set off in front of the headquarters of the Romani political party Euroroma in the town of Sandanski in southwestern Bulgaria. The bomb was placed there in the form of a package and exploded at around 6 AM in the hands of Malin Iliev (age 59), one of the party's Romani candidates in the local elections, as he removed the suspicious object. The blast completely removed one of his arms from his body. He was transported in critical condition to a local hospital, where he is fighting for his life.

After the incident, party chair Toni Angelov immediately announced his conviction that the attack was racially motivated. Bulgarian news server Novinite.com reported on Sunday that police have arrested four suspects and currently believe that two of them were also involved in a bomb attack on a Romani neighborhood in the same municipality this past April.

Euroroma is the largest political party in Bulgaria defending the interests of Romani people and others. It was established in December 1998. The party is not ethnically based and also includes Bulgarians and Turks among its members. The 8 April Movement stated in a declaration published on the website Romabuzzmonitor.com that Sandanski is historically the first town to have ever elected a council that is 100 % Romani.

Gwendolyn Albert, lh, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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