Czech President Vaclav Klaus was opening a bridge in the northern town of Chrastava Friday when a man shot him at close range—with a pellet gun. The president recoiled a little but seemed unhurt, Radio Prague reports. The real damage may be to his security detail, whose chief bodyguard, Jirí Sklenka, resigned today after a rebuke from the president. "I feel I must take responsibility for the actions of my subordinates and I must face this like a man," Sklenka said.
The attacker was a 26-year-old Commmunist sympathizer who said he shot the president because the government ignores the needs of everyday people. He said he preferred to use a pellet gun rather than tomatoes or rotten eggs because the gun made more of a statement. Charged with disorderly conduct, he was allowed to return to work today.