Bulgarian nationalists stage rally

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Posted: Saturday, February 15, 2014 3:26 pm | Updated: 10:17 pm, Mon Feb 24, 2014.

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Hundreds of Bulgarians have marched through their capital to honor a World War II general known for his anti-Semitic and pro-Nazi activities.

Sofia's mayor had banned Saturday's rally, organized by the far-right Bulgarian National Union. But police did not intervene after the participants changed its planned route at the last minute.

Chanting "Wake up, Bulgarians!" the marchers praised Gen. Hristo Lukov, who had supported Germany during the Second World War and was killed by an anti-fascist resistance movement on Feb. 13, 1943.

Human rights groups criticized the march organizers for promoting racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism.

Authorities have accused nationalists of stirring ethnic strife in Bulgaria, including an attack on a mosque in Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second-largest city, on Friday that left several people injured and 120 arrested.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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