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(ANS) – The Bulgarian Helsinki Committee (BHC), a human rights watchdog, condemned Bulgaria ’s government Thursday, July 22, after police allegedly closed down 250 churches nationwide and detained several priests in the largest crackdown on clergy since the collapse of Communism. At least one priest was injured in the police operation, said the BHC in a statement seen by ASSIST News Service (ANS). “The raids were carried out in Sofia , Plovdiv , Smoljan, Bansko, Chepelare, and other places across the country with a prosecutor’s warrant,” the BHC claimed. “During the raid, which started in the early hours of July 21, the Alternative Synod headed by Father Inokentii was forcefully evicted from the Orthodox churches it occupied. Police stormed through 250 churches across the country. The churches were sealed, and the clergy serving in them – driven out,” the BHC said. Three priests were detained and taken for questioning to the Fifth District Police Station after the police raid in Sofia ‘s St. Paraskeva Church. A priest from Father Inokentii’s Alternative Synod sustained medium bodily injury after the police raid in the Sveto Uspenie Bogorodichno Church [Assumption Church ]. Father Hristo Pisarov has at least one broken tooth, a broken nose and other bruises after 50 policemen raided the church,” the BHC said.