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Bulgaria Unveils Statue To Assassinated Cold War Dissident

A commemoration service in a Sofia church marking 35 years since the murder of Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident killed in London in 1978, reportedly by the Bulgarian security service and KGB acting in concert.

Bulgaria's president inaugurated a statue to dissident playwright Georgi Markov, who was thought to have been assassinated by the Bulgarian secret police working with the KGB in London in 1978.

President Rosen Plevneliev said at the November 11 ceremony for the unveiling of the statue, "The words of Georgi Markov spiritually liberated the Bulgarians even before the toppling of the communist regime."

Markov was a prominent playwright and journalist who fled Bulgaria in 1969, and criticized the Bulgarian communist government in a series of reports for the BBC and Radio Free Europe between 1975 and 1978 that many Bulgarians listened to in secret.

While waiting for a bus on Waterloo Bridge on September 7, 1978 he was jabbed in the leg with an umbrella by a passer-by.

He developed a fever and died five days later at age 49.

An autopsy revealed a tiny metal pellet embedded in his thigh that contained a toxin.

Markov's widow, Annabel, attended the November 11 ceremony in Sofia.

Based on reporting by BBC and AFP