Bulgarian-Roma Tensions in Katunitsa Village Subside

Society | September 26, 2011, Monday // 08:05|  views

Properties of Roma boss Tsar Kiro in the Bulgarian village of Katunitsa, known as The Castle, were set on fire by protesting local ethnic Bulgarians. Photo by DarikNews

Tensions in the village of Katunitsa, located in southern Bulgaria, near the second largest city of Plovdiv, are slowly subsiding and the situation remained calm Sunday night into Monday.

The news was reported by the Bulgarian TV channel bTV Monday morning.

Nevertheless, hundreds of police and firefighters are still in the village, guarding all possible points where conflicts can arise.

A number of Katunitsa residents are quoted saying the protests will last until the family of notorious Roma boss Kiril Rashkov AKA Tsar Kiro is deported and the law is applied fully.

Tensions in the entire Plovdiv region escalated after Rashkov's Roma associates from the Plovdiv district of Stolipinovo ran over and killed 19-year-old Angel Petrov from the village late Friday. The incident flared large-scale violence and protests which culminated Saturday night in an attack on Rashkov's properties, allegedly staged by several hundred football fans.

Monday is a day of mourning in the village. Angel was buried Sunday with a crowd of over 2 000 gathering to bid farewell to the young man. The mourning father insists his son was killed on Tsar Kiro's orders.

A day before the incident, the following threat had been published in the Facebook profile of one of Rashkov's grandsons: "The one who is my enemy should die in a traffic accident!"

Pavel, 16, a friend of Angel, will be buried Monday. He passed out during the attacks on Rashkov's properties Friday and later died in the hospital. The boy had a bypass surgery several years ago.

Crowds were reported in Katunitsa Sunday night, but the tensions have diminished with local resident holding a silent vigil with candles.

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