Roma Teenager Stabbed in Alleged Racial Brawl in Bulgaria's Samokov
A 15-year-old youth was stabbed with a knife in a fight between four youths of Bulgarian origin and four of Roma origin.
All are pupils either at the Professional High School for Tourism or a local school in Samokov, a town some 60 kms south east of the capital Sofia.
According to the Samokov police, the incident occurred Wednesday morning between the two schools which are situated across the street from each other.
There have been reports that one of the groups attacked the other, cursing and swearing at them. During the fight one of the youths injured another with a knife in the stomach. The victim was immediately taken to a local hospital for emergency treatment. His injuries were not life-threatening, the hospital announced.
In the meantime, after having been alerted to the incident, police teams were sent to the site where 30-40 relatives and acquaintances of the injured boy had already gathered. They were joined by the senior policeman in Samokov, who spoke to the group.
The schoolboy who inflicted the knife wound was taken to the police station, and his mother was summoned there. An inspector from the Children's Pedagogical Institution spoke with them, and the entire case is being investigated.
After the injured teenager had been taken to hospital, a large group of Roma from the Sedem quarter of the town headed for the medical institution, causing the hospital's manager to call the police.
Then the Roma headed for the two schools. Thanks to the prompt efforts of the police, the situation was brought under control, a Samokov municipal spokesperson has announced.
Angel Nikolov, the mayor of Samokov, distributed a letter instructing the management of the six schools in the town to organize checks for possession of dangerous objects - knives, knuckle-dusters and any others.
Extensive police patrols have been put in place near the schools where the fight took place.
By late afternoon, the Secretary-General of the Interior Ministry (MVR), Kalin Georgiev, and the Director of the Sofia Direcorate of MVR, Todor Iliev, had arrived in Samokov to assess the situation.
They stated that there was no tension in the town, and that a meeting had been set up with the local mayor, after which the MVR officials would visit the Roma quarter of the town.
This is not the first such incident in Samokov. Two years ago, a 17-year-old Roma boy was killed in a fight in the town center.
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