Several thousand people who rallied in Bulgaria's Plovdiv to protest against the murder of a 19-year-old boy in the nearby village of Katunitsa have set off for a Roma-inhabited quarter in the city.
The protesters rallied on the Unification Square in Plovdiv led by hundreds of bikers Sunday afternoon. At about the same time, the funeral of 19-year-old Angel Petrov in the village of Katunitsa took place.
Petrov was run over and killed by associates of local Roma boss Kiril Rashkov, aka Tsar Kiro, Friday night. This led to protests by local ethnic Bulgarians against Rashkov's Roma clan followed Saturday night by an attack on Rashkov's estates by several hundred football hooligans from Plovdiv and Sofia.
As the protest rally in Plovdiv unraveled Sunday afternoon, several thousands protesters headed for Adzhasan Mahala, a Roma inhabited quarter. Plovdiv, a city of some 350 000, is the home of the largest Roma-inhabited quarter in Bulgaria, Stolipinovo, with a population of about 40 000.
According to reports of Plovdiv media, Roma from Adzhasan Mahala have come out of their homes armed with sticks and shovels to meet the protesters.
However, the police and gendarmerie forces have cordoned off the Roma quarter, and have managed to keep the situation under control as of 5 pm Sunday afternoon.