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For months, a dark blue armor-plated police van has been parked outside Sofia’s only mosque, the 16th-century Banya Bashi, in the city center, a stone’s throw from the synagogue and Catholic and Eastern Orthodox cathedrals.

The four officers standing outside it, nursing polystyrene cups of hot coffee in the freezing Balkan winter, are at the front line of what is a growing crisis: a clash between the country’s natives and an influx of people forced from their homes by war or poverty.

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