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Bulgaria’s prosecutor general narrowly avoids death in blast

Bulgaria’s prosecutor general escaped unhurt after his car was targeted by a bomb packed with shrapnel that was intended to kill him, officials said on Monday, May 1.

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Officials said the device detonated as a car carrying Prosecutor General Ivan Geshev passed by on a turn in a road near the village of Kovatchevtsi at around 11:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT).

Geshev had previously informed the public that he was receiving threats.

Deputy chief prosecutor Borislav Sarafov said the device produced a pillar of fire that reached a height of 4-5 meters and left a crater that was 30-40 centimeters deep and 3 meters in diameter. It included 3 kilograms of TNT equivalent as well as shrapnel, which were found embedded in nearby trees.

“The bomb was clearly intended to kill”, Sarafov said. “It wasn’t just meant to be intimidating, it wasn’t fireworks, it was an extremely powerful blast. The metal pellets we found were the size of a human fingernail.”

Fortunately, no one has been killed or wounded as a result of the explosion.

He said the remains of the device were being analyzed to identify its components in more detail.

The deputy prosecutor general said that a criminal investigation has been set in motion and it is being treated extremely seriously.

“I am convinced we will find the perpetrators. The state cannot allow for such incidents. This is an assault against the state. The case is not just about the prosecutor general himself, but also all [state] institutions,” Sarafov told bTV.

Geshev is a controversial figure in Bulgaria, and his appointment in 2019 attracted protests by critics saying he would do little to tackle high-level corruption in the country.

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