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All safe after bodyguard fires gun on Czech PM’s plane

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Czech Republic’s Prime Minister Andrej Babis arrives for a Visegrad Group meeting on the sidelines of a European Union (EU) summit at EU Commission Headquarters in Brussels on May 28, 2019. (Photo by JOHN THYS / POOL / AFP)

A bodyguard accidentally fired his gun aboard a government plane carrying billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis from an EU dinner but no one was hurt, police and media said Wednesday.

“We can confirm an accidental shot during a gun check aboard a government plane,” late on Tuesday, Czech national police spokeswoman Lenka Sikorova told AFP.

“The incident occurred in a detached area. No one else was in danger.”

Babis’s spokeswoman Jana Adamcova told AFP that “something like that happened” but declined to elaborate.

Czech media said the bodyguard was trying to unload his gun shortly after Babis had boarded in Brussels and the plane was preparing for take-off.

Carrying a total of 22 people, the flight left about an hour later, said the Aktualne.cz news site, adding that the bullet hit a meal cart.

Babis — a food, chemicals and media tycoon currently facing EU subsidy fraud charges — leads a minority centre-left cabinet of his populist ANO party and the leftwing Social Democrats, who, with backing from the Communists, have a parliamentary majority.

In 1994, a bodyguard for then-Czech defence minister Antonin Baudys accidentally fired his gun on a flight to Sweden and hit the fuel tank. No one was injured.


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