Attacker Aims Gun at Pol, Pulls the Trigger

Ahmed Dogan of Bulgaria escapes gas-gun attack
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2013 1:30 PM CST

(Newser) – A stunning attack on a Bulgarian politician went awry today when the assailant's weapon failed to go off, the BBC reports. Ahmed Dogan, leader of Bulgaria's ethnic Turks, was giving a televised speech in Sofia when a man stormed the stage and aimed a gun at his head. The assailant tried to fire two rounds but "most likely the gun misfired," an official said. Dogan, 58, pushed away the weapon—a non-lethal but still-dangerous gas gun—before security guards wrestled the attacker to the ground, reports AFP. See it on video here.

Police arrested the man, whose rap sheet included robbery and drug-possession convictions. Dogan retired a few hours later, as had been expected: "This time my decision is categorical!" he said. His address, finished later by another member of the Movement for Rights and Freedoms party, criticized the "demonization" of Dogan ahead of July elections. Dogan has led the nation's 10% Turkish minority for 23 years but faced mounting criticism from all sides, often for his authoritarian style and alleged corruption. (Read more Bulgaria stories.)

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