SOFIA, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Bulgaria’s Defense Ministry said on Monday it had sent a special unit to inspect and deactivate a drone carrying explosives that landed in the Black Sea town of Tyulenovo on Sunday evening.
After inspection, the team from NATO member Bulgaria will decide how to dispose of them, the ministry said in a statement, adding that the team was sent at the request of the regional government.
“We can certainly assume that it (the drone) is linked to the war launched by Russia against Ukraine,” Defense Minister Todor Tagarev told reporters.
“This war is inevitably associated with increasing risks to our security,” he added.
Tagarev did not provide more detailed information about where the drone came from and how it reached Bulgaria.
The tourist resort of Tyulenovo is located 70 kilometers (43 miles) south of the Romanian border and across the Black Sea from Crimea, the Ukrainian peninsula forcibly annexed by Russia in 2014 and now a regular target Ukrainian drone attacks.
Police cordoned off the area on Sunday evening and restricted public access to local restaurant terraces, Marian Jechev, mayor of the Shabla municipality of which Tyulenovo is a part, told Nova TV.
He said the drone was found on rocks next to boats moored in Tyulenovo, describing it as an “aircraft with standard ammunition.”
It was unclear whether the drone fell from the air or was carried away by sea currents.
The website Nova.bg cited witnesses as saying the drone was between 3 and 3.5 meters long and was attached to a container containing explosives.
Last week, fragments of a suspected drone were discovered in Romania, after a new Russian attack on Ukraine’s Danube ports across the border.
Reporting by Stoyan Nenov in Sofia and Ivana Sekularac in Belgrade; Editing by Toby Chopra and Gareth Jones
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