Bulgaria president â€˜deeply regretsâ€™ fatal shooting of migrant
Bulgariaâ€™s president said Friday that he â€œdeeply regretsâ€ the fatal shooting of an Afghan migrant by Bulgarian border police, calling for â€œrapidâ€ EU action to tackle the refugee crisis.
â€œThis tragic incidentâ€¦ gives me the opportunity to call for rapid common European measures to tackle the roots of the crisis,â€ Rosen Plevneliev said after the killing of the migrant on Thursday.
â€œI callâ€¦ on asylum-seekers not to commit actions that run counter to European and Bulgarian legislation and to respect laws that are binding to all,â€ he said in a statement.
He added that Bulgaria â€œwas one of the first European countries facing major migratory pressure and which took urgent measures to ensure the adequate protection of the EUâ€™s external borders.â€
The Afghan man was among a group of 54 migrants spotted by a patrol near the southeastern town of Sredets close to the Turkish border, Bulgarian interior ministry official Georgy Kostov said Friday.
Officers fired warning shots into the air and â€œa migrant was injured by a ricochet â€” according to the testimony of one of the three police officers â€” and succumbed to his injuries on the way to the hospital,â€ he said.
A member of the European Union but not of the passport-free Schengen zone, Bulgaria is on the fringes of the main flow of migrants heading to western Europe through Greece, Macedonia and Serbia.
The country has however seen tens of thousands of migrants transiting since the beginning of the year.
In a move to buttress its porous 260-kilometre (160-mile) border with Turkey, Bulgaria has built a 30-kilometre razor wire fence along part of it and dispatched some 2,000 border guards, police and army to guard the rest.
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