Fatal accident in Bulgaria sparks ethnic unrest and another fatality
A tragic accident in the Bulgarian muncipality of Katunitsa during which a 19-year-old boy was run over by a car has sparked ethnic unrest there. The boy died on the scene and the driver tried to flee. The car's passengers included relatives of Kiril Rashkov, a wealthy member of the Romani community. The boy was not Romani. News server Dnes.bg reports that there are speculations the incident amounts to murder because the boy had been threatened with murder before the accident occurred.
A crowd of about 2 000 Bulgarians, including racist football fans, attacked Rashkov's home in the early morning hours of Saturday, breaking windows and setting the house on fire. Ethnic Bulgarians also set the homes of other wealthy Romani families on fire as well. The fires were put out quickly. Three police officers and two civilians were injured. Police arrested a total of 127 rioters.
During the attack on the controversial Romani family, a 17-year-old boy collapsed unconscious. He died on the way to the hospital.
Hundreds of local residents have signed a petition demanding the Rashkov family leave town. Speaking on radio and television, locals have complained about the "arrogant behavior of the so-called 'King Kiril' and his family", who in their view "behave like the rulers" there. Locals have demanded the authorities investigate the origins of Kiril Rashkov's wealth, claiming he "is worth millions and doesn't pay taxes." The local press also reports that "King Kiril" produces hard alcohol illegally.
The ethnic Bulgarian boy hit by the car will be buried today. Further unrest is expected.