The fatal shooting of a migrant by Bulgarian Border Police was a tragic accident, while the police just doing their job and did not intend to kill the migrant, meaning neither medals nor their resignations are in order, Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said.
Borissov commented on the incident on October 17, the second day after news emerged of the shooting, which had prompted him to leave a European Council meeting ahead of schedule. The initial reports that apparently prompted him to leave were that there had been a firefight between the migrants and the Border Police, which later reports established as untrue.
According to the policeman who fired what he described as a warning shot in the air, a ricochet off a bridge caused the fatal injury to the migrant.
Borissov said that the border patrol had been activated as it should, while three Border Police facing a group of 54 migrants was quite an unequal number, he said.
Asked whether Bulgaria was protecting its border well, given that the migrants had penetrated so far into Bulgarian territory, Borissov said that the fact was that they had been detained and in that in Europe, Bulgaria protected its border the best.
Borissov said that it was difficult to classify people from Afghanistan – the country said to be the place from which the group came – as refugees, given that there was military there whose task was to preserve the peace.
“I can hardly define people from Afghanistan as refugees. We have sent an army there to maintain peace. There is a big difference between Syria and Afghanistan. That is why Europe took these decisions,” he said.
“Let me say in support of our Border Police officers, that to cross a state border is a crime. Our guys were doing their job, it was just ridiculous accident, they did not want to kill anyone,” Borissov said.