Bulgarian Nationalist Leader Accused of Triggering Mosque AssaultDomestic | September 9, 2011, Friday // 14:58| views
On Friday, the Dnevnik daily failed to reach Siderov for a comment on the accusation, as his cell phone was off. Photo by BGNES
Volen Sidderov, the leader of Bulgaria's far-right Ataka (Attack) party has been the one who triggered the violent assault against Muslims in front of a Sofia mosque in May, former party members have clamed.
Two of the formation's former members, Ivaylo Minov and Martin Martinov, have told the Bulgarian online news agency Mediapool that they were the "technical organizers"of the protest that led to the attack, but have claimed it was Siderov who personally inspired the attack.
On Friday, the Dnevnik daily failed to reach Siderov for a comment on the accusation, as his cell phone was off.
On May 20, supporters of the far-right party, led by Siderov, shocked Bulgaria as its rally protesting against the use of loudspeakers by the Banya Bashi mosque in downtown Sofia got out of hand, and the activists assaulted praying Muslims in front of the mosque.
As one of the protesters tried to remove a prayer rug from the space in front of the mosque, tension escalated and a fight started between the two group. A total of seven men were wounded in the clashes, including five police officers.
Ataka supporters shouted "Turks, get out" while throwing eggs - even though those praying in the Sofia mosque are not only ethnic Turks but also ethnic Bulgarians and ethnic Arabs.
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