Bulgarian border policeman shot dead at border with Turkey

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — A Bulgarian police officer has been shot dead at the border with Turkey, the interior minister said Tuesday.

The incident occurred at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, when an unidentified person shot at a border police officer and a serviceman who were patrolling a stretch of the border near the village of Golyam Dervent, minister Ivan Demerdzhiev said.

The police officer died on the spot while the serviceman was not hurt. Additional border patrols were dispatched to the scene, but the shooter was not captured and is believed to be on Turkish territory.

The minister told reporters at the scene that he had received assurances from Turkey that the shooter will be found. He added that border patrols will start using another type of weapon but did not elaborate.

“The patrols are facing an unprecedented refugee surge every day. Last night’s case was an extreme act of aggression,” Demerdzhiev said, adding that the Turkish side should take an active approach.

“I asked the same from Europol and the European Commission,” said Demerdzhiev adding that this case was the first of its kind.

Bulgaria has deployed 350 troops and 40 army vehicles along its southern border with Turkey to help border police deal with a growing migrant influx. The troops will conduct joint patrols along the 259-kilometer (161-mile) border with Turkey.

The Balkan country is located on a major route for migrants from the Middle East and Afghanistan to Europe. Only a small number of them plan to stay in the EUs poorest member, using Bulgaria instead as a transit corridor on their way westward.

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