Explosions rock Bulgaria opposition parties' offices

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 19, 2011 8:18 AM

SOFIA (Reuters) - Small explosions rocked the offices of two right-wing opposition parties in central Sofia early on Tuesday, causing only minor damage, police said.

The explosions were the latest blow to the center-right government's efforts to impose strict rule of law and hit Sofia the day before Brussels was to issue its annual report on Bulgaria's progress in fighting rampant graft and corruption.

The explosives went off in front of the offices of the Order, Law and Justice party and Democrats for Strong Bulgaria in central Sofia at about 4 a.m., breaking doors and windows but causing no casualties, police said.

No one has taken responsibility for the blasts. Police said the devices might have been planted by the same person as their chemical composition was identical.

Prime Minister Boiko Borisov denounced the attacks, saying their timing was linked to the EU report and they were an attempt to damage the country's reputation.

"A person can easily understand at whom these were really aimed, whether it was the offices or the government and the state and the people," he told the TV7 channel.

In a statement, his GERB party said the explosions were a provocation by underground groups that have felt the heat from the government's efforts to sever links between senior officials and organised crime groups.

The opposition, which accuses the government of failing to impose strict rule of law and root out rampant crime and graft, has lodged a no-confidence vote against Borisov's administration on these grounds.

Both parties whose offices were attacked are represented in parliament and have said they will back the no-confidence motion.

(Reporting by Tsvetelia Tsolova, editing by Tim Pearce)