Bulgarian Politician Ahmed Dogan Survives Assassination Attempt
The leader of a Bulgarian opposition party survived an assassination attempt in Sofia on Saturday when the would-be assassin’s gun misfired.
The Sofia Globe reports that Ahmed Dogan, an ethnic Turk and leader of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF), was assaulted as he delivered an address before a party conference at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia, the capital, on Saturday.
The would-be-assassin, identified by Bulgarian Interior Minister Tsvetan Tsvetanov as Oktai Enimehmedov, was wearing what appeared to be official credentials as he strode up to the podium, pointed a small pistol at Dogan’s head and pulled the trigger twice. The gun did not fire, however, and Dogan knocked his hand away and struggled briefly with his attacker.
Enimehmedov was then tackled, beaten and subdued by security personnel and delegates before being led away by security officials, his face bloodied.
According to the Interior Ministry, Enimehmedov, 25, is an ethnic Turk from Bourgas with two prior convictions for causing bodily harm and one for drug possession.
Enimehmedov’s motive for trying to kill Dorgan is unclear at this time.
Dorgan, who was imprisoned during Bulgaria’s communist era for his resistance to the government’s ‘revival process,’ or deporting hundreds of thousands of ethnic Turks and changing Turkish names to sound more Bulgarian, co-founded the MRF and has led the party since 1989. It was revealed, however, that he collaborated with the powerful and dreaded communist-era State Security. Dorgan has evolved into a kingmaker in Bulgarian politics, and MRF support was instrumental in keeping the governments of Prime Ministers Simeon Saxe-Coburg (2001-2005) and Sergei Stanishev (2005-2009) in power.
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