COVID-19: Anti-vaccine protesters try to storm Bulgarian parliament

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. A number of individuals, together with cops, have been injured through the clashes. Finally, the protesters have been pushed again and police cordoned off the constructing. 

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

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Cops line up as they attempt to maintain protesters away from the Bulgarian Parliament constructing in Sofia, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. 
(AP Picture/Valentina Petrova)

“The intention of the protest is to take away the restrictive measures and particularly, to begin with, the unconstitutional inexperienced certificates,” Kostadin Kostadinov, chief of the Vazrazhdane celebration, mentioned forward of the protest. 

The nationalist group, which holds 13 seats in Parliament’s 240-seat chamber, has gained help amongst opponents of coronavirus restrictions. 

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

Police officers try to keep protesters away from the Bulgarian Parliament building in Sofia, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Protesters opposing COVID-19 restrictions in Bulgaria have clashed with police as they were trying to storm the Parliament in Sofia. Heavy police presence prevented protesters from entering the building and some were detained. 

Cops attempt to maintain protesters away from the Bulgarian Parliament constructing in Sofia, Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Protesters opposing COVID-19 restrictions in Bulgaria have clashed with police as they have been making an attempt to storm the Parliament in Sofia. Heavy police presence prevented protesters from getting into the constructing and a few have been detained. 
(AP Picture/Valentina Petrova)

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Bulgaria, which is going through 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 towards COVID-19. 

Talking from his residence, the place he’s quarantined for contacts with an contaminated particular person, Prime Minister Kiril Petkov known as for calm and invited representatives of the protesters to his workplace on Friday to debate their calls for. 

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