A top Bulgarian politician had a brush with death on Saturday after a gunman pointed a pistol at his head as he delivered a televised speech.
Ahmed Dogan escaped unscathed after falling to the ground as security tackled the gunman in front of stunned meeting hall of 3,000 people in the capital, Sofia. No shots were fired, but the Sofia Globe reports that sources say the gun might have jammed.
“Ahmed Dogan is in good health. Everything is under control,” Ceyhan Ibryamov, a member of Dogan’s political party, said after the incident.
Dogan has led Bulgaria’s ethnic Turkish party for 25 years. He was in the middle of a speech to party members when a man in a black coat rushed the stage, holding a gun at arm’s length pointed directly in the face of the 58-year-old politician. Delegates and security jumped on the man, and television footage shows them beating, kicking and punching him.
Police arrested 25-year-old Oktai Enimehmedov, a Bulgarian man and ethnic Turk from the Black Sea town of Burgas. Enimehmedov was also carrying two knives, officials said.
It was unclear how he got past security and into the meeting hall. His motive was not known.
Bulgarian officials say Enimehmedov has a criminal record for drug possession, robberies and hooliganism.
Saturday’s incident was the most serious attack on a politician in post-communist Bulgaria since ex-prime Minister Andrei Lukanov was shot dead near his home in 1996.