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Nationalist rally in Sofia ends peacefully despite worries

Date: 28.04.2006

Despite fears of a serious clash, the rally organized by nationalist fraction Ataka (Attack) against the US military bases in Bulgaria on Thursday ended peacefully.

Ataka's plan to "surprise" US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and the informal NATO meeting in Sofia did not succeed due to the police's prompt interference.

The rally was stopped about half a kilometre from the National Palace of Culture, where the high-level meeting is under way. Dozens of officers stood at the barricades, geared up for some serious mob-stopping, but Ataka's thousand supporters were apparently not looking for a clash.

"They though that Ataka could back into defence, but Ataka is Ataka," the party's deputy head Anton Sirakov said in the beginning of the meeting. He was followed by the nationalists' leader Volen Siderov who stepped out before the crowd under the sounds of Wagner.

Sofia was now occupied with the help of the colonial army of the national traitors who did everything possible to please the US, Siderov claimed. "They turned Sofia into a concentration camp and they want Bulgaria to enter a new dirty war -this time with Iran," the party leader said to the crowd.

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