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Third Diplomat Attacked in a Month in Sofia

January 29, 1996

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) _ A gang of young men beat up a senior Chinese diplomat and his wife in downtown Sofia, police said Monday, the third assault on diplomats in the Bulgarian capital this month.

The group kicked and punched Embassy First Secretary Li Chun Sheng on Saturday night, said police spokesman Krasimir Vladimirov. The attackers also pulled his wife Sun Supin to the ground.

The couple, who were treated for minor injuries at a hospital, told police the reason for the attack was unclear. The assailants did not take any valuables.

Military Attache Xing Xicheng is recovering from a fractured skull after a man armed with a baseball bat attacked him in front of the Chinese embassy earlier this month. There was no apparent motive for that attack either.

Also this month, diners at a Sofia restaurant punched Czech Ambassador Petr Pospihal after an argument.

Bulgaria’s crime rate has surged nearly fourfold since it emerged from communist rule in 1989.

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