Sofia Protest Rally Turns into Riot

Society | January 14, 2009, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Sofia Protest Rally Turns into Riot: Sofia Protest Rally Turns into Riot Police are continuing to use force and to chase on foot part of the participants in the Wednesday protest rally in downtown Sofia, all Bulgarian information agencies reported. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

Police are continuing to use force and to chase on foot part of the participants in the Wednesday protest rally in downtown Sofia, all Bulgarian information agencies reported.

After being dispersed with force form the square in front of the Parliament, one group of the demonstrators went in the direction of one of Sofia's main thoroughfares "Tsarigradsko Shosse", and was chased on foot by policemen in riot gear with teargas and batons.

About 150 of the demonstrators blocked for a while traffic on the boulevard, in the area of "Orlov Most" (Eagle Bridge). The Police managed to open the road for traffic half an hour later.

Many main roads in downtown Sofia are impassable - there are reports that the "Levski" boulevard in the direction of the Sofia University is inaccessible with 50 policemen in riot gear blocking the way.

The Darik radio reporter informs that a large group of people is moving on "Tsarigradsko Shosse" towards the Sofia "Mladost" district while another group is walking towards the National Place of Culture on Sofia's main "Vitoshka", Evlogy Georgiev" and "Maria Louisa" boulevards. The latest reports, however, say that the crowds are slowly dispersing.

The area near the Parliament where the clashes between Police and demonstrators began is currently clear and calm.

About 170 people have been arrested, there are reports of damaged police cars and public transportation buses and broken store windows while hospitals say 19 people have reported to their emergency rooms to be treated from injuries sustained during the Police beatings. Many more are believed to have been hurt by Police brutality.
Photos from the Violent Clashes between Protesters and Police Are Available HERE

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