Czech President Vaclav Klaus shot at with replica gun

Mr Klaus was taken to hospital but suffered only minor bruising

Related Stories

A man armed with a replica pistol has fired at Czech President Vaclav Klaus at close range while he was opening a bridge in the north of the country.

Footage of the incident from Czech channel TV Prima shows Mr Klaus recoiling slightly but carrying on with the visit apparently unhurt.

Mr Klaus was taken to hospital but suffered only minor bruising.

His security detail has come in for harsh criticism for allowing the man to get so close to Mr Klaus.

It is also unclear why Mr Klaus' bodyguards failed to react when a gun was pulled on him, the BBC's Rob Cameron reports from Prague.

Mr Klaus himself rebuked them for failing to handle the situation well, according to the Nova TV station.

He later said the incident happened so quickly he did not have time to be afraid, our correspondent adds.

'Communist sympathiser'

The attacker, who was dressed in camouflage clothing, pushed his way through a crowd in the town of Chrastava before firing the weapon at Mr Klaus.

The weapon was of the sort that is used in "airsoft" gaming.

The man was briefly interviewed by Czech media and said he was a 26-year-old communist sympathiser.

He said he had carried out the attack because the government was deaf to the concerns of ordinary people.

The man was arrested by police shortly afterwards.

Mr Klaus has been in the largely ceremonial post of president since 2003 and previously served as prime minister in the 1990s.

He is known for pushing through reforms to the Czech Republic's economy after the fall of Communism and is a staunch opponent of EU integration.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features

  • John CurticeScotland decides

    Referendum race 'may have got tighter'


  • RihannaCloud caution

    After celebrity leaks, what can you do to safeguard your photos?


  • Cesc FabregasFair price?

    Have some football clubs overpaid for their new players?


  • Woman and hairdryerBlow back

    Would banning high-power appliances actually save energy?


  • Rack of lambFavourite feast

    Is the UK unusually fond of lamb and potatoes?


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.