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Bulgaria: Minister Replaces Police Chief, Other Officials

Sofia, 24 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Bulgaria's interim Interior Minister Bogomil Bonev has replaced the head of the police and other top officials fighting organized crime and terrorism.

The state news agency BTA reported yesterday that the replacements are part of an administrative overhaul by the caretaker cabinet of Prime Minister Stefan Sofiyanski, which took power ten days ago.

Bonev also ordered measures to restrict the activities of numerous local security companies, widely believed to serve as a cover for organized crime in Bulgaria. RFE/RL's Sofia correspondent reports Bonev signed an order for strict police control over the issuing of licenses for security firms.

President Petar Stoyanov recently urged the governemnt to take measures to stamp out "the looting of Bulgaria by criminal groups, including those who enjoy political protection."