Bulgarian prosecutor general escapes ‘assassination attempt’

An assassination attempt. Bulgaria’s attorney general emerged unscathed on Monday from a roadside bomb blast targeting his motorcade. The authorities described this event as an “assassination attempt”. Ivan Guechev “was the target of an assassination attempt, it was not a simple intimidation,” his deputy, Borislav Sarafov, told reporters.

Authorities said the Attorney General’s convoy was heading for Sofia when, around 11:30 a.m. local time (8:30 a.m. French time), a bomb exploded on the side of the road. “The bomb was not only loaded with TNT (about 3 kg), but it also contained shrapnel,” said Borislav Sarafov. “It was an attack prepared by professionals, and obviously very well executed”, he added, specifying that Ivan Guechev and his family, who traveled in armored vehicles, had escaped “on a twist of fate”.

The prosecution has opened a terrorism investigation. The exact nature of the explosive is being analyzed.

A controversial character

In 2020, thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets for months to protest against alleged corruption in the government of then Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. The strong mobilizations had also demanded the resignation of Ivan Guechev.

A controversial figure for years, the attorney general, whose term runs until 2026, has been accused of protecting those in power as well as obstructing disclosures exposing corruption and preventing its conviction.

The demonstrations had resulted in the end of the exercise of power for Boïko Borissov, opening a period of political instability. Elections in early April, the fifth ballot in two years, failed to give the country a clear majority, which may have to vote again this summer.

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