Man points gun at leader of Bulgaria's Turkish party

SOFIA Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:29am EST

1 of 7. An unidentified man (R) attacks Ahmed Dogan, leader of Bulgaria's Movement for Rights and Freedom (MRF) party, as he delivers his speech during his party's annual conference at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia in this still image taken from video footage on January 19, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Nikola Stoyanov/Bnews

Related Topics

SOFIA (Reuters) - A man jumped on stage and pointed a gun at the leader of Bulgaria's ethnic Turkish party before security guards wrestled him to the ground during a televised conference on Saturday.

Ahmed Dogan, the long-time leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) escaped unscathed, and it was not immediately clear why the attacker had targeted him at the party congress in downtown Sofia.

Television footage showed the man jumping out of the audience and interrupting a speech by 58-year-old Dogan, who has led the party for almost a quarter of a century. Security guards were seen beating and kicking the attacker.

"Ahmed Dogan is in good health. Everything is under control," MRF official Ceyhan Ibryamov told journalists.

Police said they had arrested a 25-year-old man from the Black Sea town of Burgas who was also carrying two knives.

The liberal MRF party represents ethnic Turks and other Muslims who make up about 12 percent of Bulgaria's 7.3 million-strong population.

Dogan is seen as one of Balkan country's most influential political figures. The MRF was a junior partner in the previous Socialist-led cabinet.

In 1996, former Prime Minister Andrei Lukanov was found shot dead near his home in Sofia, though attacks on politicians are rare.

(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (13)
yarply wrote:
Knives and revolvers don’t jam. He had all that time he could have stabbed him to death. I think this was a staged event.

Jan 19, 2013 12:30pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Babata wrote:
In the last issue of the Weekend newspaper, the journalist Ognian Stefanov / who has been almost killed by the Mafia of Bulgarian communist’s party a few years ago/ has warned that in the Bulgaria has a plan of destabilization of the government. On 18 of January he wrote 5 variations of the plan. That one – with number 4 is completely the same as the case that had happened today! Is that coincidence or not? Please see the Weekend of 18 January 2013 page 24!

Jan 19, 2013 12:49pm EST  --  Report as abuse
mbitsko wrote:
Nonsense. They have strict gun control. Stop lying, Reuters!

Jan 19, 2013 1:32pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.