Over 100 MPs, ministers trapped by Bulgaria anti-govt protesters

Anti-corruption protests that have been peacefully going on for 40 days reached a climax in Bulgaria when demonstrators trapped a hundred ministers, lawmakers and journalists inside the parliament for over eight hours, urging the government to resign.

Police with shields formed a pathway through hundreds of Bulgarians to finally get all those trapped out of the building, pushing away the anti-government demonstrators. High-ranking officials were escorted outside in the capital, Sofia, at around 3am in police vans…

Bulgarian riot policemen make way for lawmakers and parliament staff driven in a bus during an anti-government protest in Sofia on July 23, 2013. (AFP Photo/Dimitar Dilkoff)Bulgarian riot policemen make way for lawmakers and parliament staff driven in a bus during an anti-government protest in Sofia on July 23, 2013. (AFP Photo/Dimitar Dilkoff)

When a bus arrived at the site to escort the officials out, the demonstrators formed a human chain and threw bottles and stones at the bus, refusing to let the vehicle leave.

They shouted “Murderers!”, “Mafia!”, “Resign!” as dozens of police in riot gear pushed and clubbed them to clear a path for the bus. The people hurt included some with head injuries.

“Police reacted very adequately, policemen did their job perfectly although protesters behaved extremely aggressively,” Interior Minister Tsvetlin Yovchev told reporters.

“We will try to find those who threw stones at police and deputies,” he added.

President Rosen Plevneliev earlier issued a statement calling upon the protesters to keep the rally “peaceful and civilized.”

“For the first time since the start of the protests we have now witnessed tension and attempts for provocation,” Plevneliev said, urging for “calm and order.”

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