One man was severely injured in a bomb blast that rocked the town of Sandanski in southwestern Bulgaria on June 29. The man was taken to hospital and was in intensive care, having suffered extensive damage to one arm and his stomach, news agency Focus reported, citing doctors at the Sandanski hospital.
The bomb blast occurred shortly before 6am local time, in front of the local office of the Euroroma political party, reports said. It detonated when the man picked up a package left in front of the building, reports said.
“I hope that this is not politically-motivated. We are reasonable enough people in Bulgaria, a member state of the European Union and Nato, not to solve our political differences with bomb blasts, so I have no explanation for what has happened,” Euroroma leader Tsvetelin Kunchev told private television station bTV.
Kunchev is a controversial figure in Bulgarian politics – a former MP, he was tried and found guilty of kidnapping and causing grievous bodily harm in 2001. He was paroled two years later and, in 2005, then vice president Angel Marin pardoned him, cancelling the suspended sentence, in a case widely seen at the time as a political deal struck between Kunchev and then-president Georgi Purvanov for Roma votes in the 2006 presidential election.
Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov said that the police were investigating the case with the assumption that it was criminally-motivated. “The theory that the [police] are working with is that it was a criminal act,” Tsvetanov told Focus.
(Photo: Bart Groenhuizen/sxc.hu)