A BULGARIAN politician survived an assassination attempt yesterday, after a gunman jumped on a stage and pointed a gun at his head.
Ahmed Dogan, leader of Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish party, was delivering a speech at their annual congress when a man leapt onto the stage, brandishing a handgun.
Dogan escaped unscathed after the gun appeared to misfire. Before his attacker could try a second shot, the veteran politician knocked his hand out of the way while security guards wrestled him to the ground.
The events were captured on film by Bulgarian broadcasters. Television footage, since posted online, shows the man jumping out of the audience and interrupting a speech being delivered by Dogan, 58, who has led the Movement for Rights and Freedoms for almost a quarter of a century.
Later, security guards were seen beating and kicking the attacker, as party members piled on to the stage to ensure he could not recover his weapon.
It was not immediately clear why the attacker had targeted Dogan at the party meeting.
Police said they had arrested a 25-year-old man from the Black Sea town of Burgas who was also carrying two knives.
In 1996, former premier Andrei Lukanov was shot dead in Sofia. Attacks on politicians in Bulgaria are, however, rare.