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Bulgaria Makes Voting Mandatory

Bulgaria introduced mandatory voting on Thursday, with the government hoping to boost low election turnout and battle rampant vote-buying in one of the European Union's most corrupt countries.

Under the new measures approved by parliament, those failing to cast ballots will be deleted from voting registers and will need to register again if they want to take part in subsequent elections.

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Citizen's Arrests of Migrants Sparks Protest in Bulgaria

A citizen's arrest of three illegal migrants sparked controversy in Bulgaria on Monday, with rights groups protesting while the government refrained from condemning the practice.

Amateur video footage broadcast on several Bulgarian televisions and in social media showed three men lying on the ground, their hands tied behind their backs as someone shouts: "Go back to Turkey!"

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Bulgaria Ready to Build Barrier on Greece Border, Says PM

Bulgaria is bracing for increased migrant pressure along its southern border with Greece and is ready to install a razor-wire barrier at any time, Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said Friday.

"The major threat that I see at the moment is from the Greek border, which is very long and unprotected. We are worried that in the last several months the Greek government has not taken any measures," Borisov told parliament, adding that the conditions in the Greek refugee shelters were "horrible."

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Two Presumed Migrants Found Dead near Bulgaria-Turkey Border

A Bulgarian border police patrol on Wednesday found the dead bodies of two men -- presumed to be migrants -- in a region close to the country's border with Turkey, authorities said.

Border police spokeswoman Lora Lyubenova told AFP that the men, found in the Malko Tarnovo region, had no documents and so could not be identified.

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13 Bulgarian Roma on Trial for Alleged IS Support

Thirteen men from Bulgaria's Roma minority practicing an ultraconservative form of Islam went on trial Thursday charged with helping people join the Islamic State group in Syria and propagating extremist ideology.

The accused form part of a Wahhabi community several hundred strong in several cities set up by self-proclaimed Roma imam Ahmed Moussa Ahmed, 40, who was already sentenced to two years in jail in 2015 for inciting hatred on religious grounds.

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Germany-Based Syrians Face Terror Charges in Bulgaria

Three Syrians living in Germany have been arrested in Bulgaria on their way to join Islamic State fighters back home and are facing terrorism charges, prosecutors in Sofia said Tuesday.

It is the first such case in Bulgaria since it introduced new legislation last year criminalizing the intent of joining terrorist groups.

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Bulgaria Accuses 5 Border Police of Taking Bribes from Migrant Smugglers

Bulgarian prosecutors said Tuesday they had charged five border police with being part of an organized crime group and accepting bribes from migrant smugglers at the country's southeastern border with Turkey.

The suspects, including three high-ranking officials, were arrested on Monday.

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Two Migrant Women Dead from Cold in Bulgaria

Two female migrants found dead in a mountainous rural region of Bulgaria died due to freezing conditions, authorities said Sunday, as asylum seekers continue to try to reach the EU despite harsh winter weather.

The women were part of a group of 19 migrants, including 11 children, found Saturday by border police near the southeastern town of Malko Tarnovo. Their nationality was still unclear.

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Rights Groups Accuse Bulgaria of Abusing Migrants

Migrants passing through Bulgaria on their way to western Europe are subject to violence, threats and even police dog attacks, according to a damning new report released by anti-poverty agency Oxfam Friday.

The report, which was based on interviews with over 100 migrants arriving in Serbia from Bulgaria, said they suffered "extortion, robbing, physical violence, use of weapons, threats of deportation, and police dog attacks."

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Bulgaria Conservatives in Resounding Local Vote Win

Bulgaria's ruling conservative party of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov scored a resounding victory in local elections this weekend, winning mayoral seats in 22 out of the 27 major cities, official results showed Monday.

Borisov's Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party won the mayor's seat in the second largest city of Plovdiv in Sunday's second-round ballot, a week after securing the capital, Sofia.

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