Anti-vaccine protesters try to storm Bulgarian parliament

Protesters opposing COVID-19 restrictions in Bulgaria have clashed with police as they have been attempting to storm the Parliament in Sofia

SOFIA, Bulgaria — Protesters opposing COVID-19 restrictions in Bulgaria clashed Wednesday with police as they tried to storm the Parliament within the capital of Sofia.

A heavy police presence prevented protesters from getting into the constructing and a few have been detained. Several individuals, together with law enforcement officials, have been injured in the course of the clashes. Eventually, the protesters have been pushed again and police cordoned off the constructing.

The violence erupted at a protest rally in opposition to masks and vaccine mandates organized by a nationalist group that’s fiercely opposing the Bulgarian authorities’s anti-epidemic measures.

“The purpose of the protest is to take away the restrictive measures and particularly, to start with, the unconstitutional inexperienced certificates,” Kostadin Kostadinov, chief of the Vazrazhdane social gathering, stated forward of the protest.

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The almost 1,000 protesters, who waved nationwide flags and sang patriotic songs, remained on the sq. in entrance of the National Assembly, saying they deliberate to keep there till their calls for for abolishing the necessary face masks and inexperienced vaccination standing passes are met.

Bulgaria, which is dealing with a brand new surge in infections, is the least vaccinated nation within the 27-member European Union, with solely a 3rd of its inhabitants absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.

Speaking from his house, the place he’s quarantined for contacts with an contaminated individual, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov referred to as for calm and invited representatives of the protesters to his workplace on Friday to focus on their calls for.

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Follow all AP tales on the pandemic at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic.

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