Man hurls shoe at Bashir

January 25, 2010 12:00 am

, KHARTOUM, Jan 25 – A Sudanese man hurled his shoe at President Omar al-Bashir on Monday but missed him, witnesses said, adding that the assailant was immediately arrested.

The man, who was not identified but appears to be in his 50s, threw the shoe at Bashir in a hallway of the Friendship Hall, where the president hosts guests, witnesses said on condition of anonymity.

Security men detained the shoe thrower immediately, they said. It was not immediately clear why he had attacked the president.

Bashir has ruled Sudan since seizing power in a military coup in 1989 and he is standing for re-election in April, when Sudan holds its first general election in 24 years.

The president, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in the restive Darfur region, is the latest leader targeted by a shoe thrower.

In the best known incident, Iraqi journalist Muntazer al-Zaidi threw his shoe at then US president George W. Bush on December 14, 2008, during his farewell visit to Baghdad.

Zaidi said at the time it was a "farewell kiss" for Bush. He jailed for nine months but flown out of the country after he was released for his own security.

The assault caused massive embarrassment to Bush and his host, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, particularly since throwing a shoe at someone is considered especially insulting and humiliating in Arab culture.

Other officials who have had shoes thrown at them include Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao while on a visit to Britain and Israel\’s ambassador to Sweden.


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