Europe

Bulgarian mobster shot outside court in Sofia

Bodyguards carry Zlatomir Ivanov to safety after he was shot in front of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Sofia, 29 January Image copyright AFP
Image caption Bodyguards carried Zlatomir Ivanov to safety

A convicted crime boss and his bodyguard have been shot and wounded outside the main courthouse in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.

Zlatomir Ivanov and his bodyguard were struck by bullets on the steps, on their way to an appeal hearing.

Shoppers and office workers witnessed the mid-morning attack, apparently launched from a nearby rooftop.

The kind of open gang warfare the country saw in the 1990s has receded since it joined the EU.

Tuesday's incident is seen as a sign that the poorest country in the EU remains blighted by organised crime.

Ivanov was on his way to an appeal hearing against an eight-year-sentence for drug smuggling. He had been under house arrest pending the outcome of the appeal.

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