Ethnic Clashes Raise Turmoil in Bulgaria’s Village of Garmen
The road between the villages of Marchevo and Garmen was blocked Sunday at around 10 am and lasted for a little over four hours.
All cars had to use an alternative route passing through the town of Gotse Delchev. Police forces were also deployed on site.
Close to 500 protesters demanded that local municipalities force the Roma population to leave the villages. Some of them even attempted to enter the Roma neighborhood of Kremikovtsi in the village of Garmen, the Bulgarian National Radio reported.
The protest action was staged merely a day after a mass beating occurred between local and Roma people at 5:30 pm. The reason had been the loud music coming from the Roma neighborhood. Soon after the violence broke as some people used axes and other sharp objects in the fights. Reportedly, four Bulgarians were injured and eight people of Roma origin were held in custody.
As several protesters stated, the reason for the demand is not merely the mass beating of yesterday. A number of people stated their conviction that their villas had been robbed by representatives of the ethnic minority.
Local police officers will continue observing the situation as the legal case is now being reviewed by the Gotse Delchev Prosecutor’s Office.
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