Bulgaria: 3 dead as bitter cold hits country

Bulgaria: 3 dead as bitter cold hits country

A man seen in the field covered with snow near the village of Banovci, some 25 kms. northwest of Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. Heavy snowfall in blizzards have closed roads, disrupted power supplies and shut down an airport in Montenegro, amid a winter freeze that has killed several people and created travel chaos in the Balkans since last weekend.(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)(AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) -- A 56-year-old homeless man has died of exposure to the cold in Bulgaria and another man has frozen to death in Kosovo — the latest victims of a snap of freezing and snowy weather that has engulfed the Balkans since last weekend.

In the past week, blizzards have blocked roads, stranded villages, and disrupted power supplies and traffic across the Balkan states, killing at least nine people as the temperatures plunged to minus 22 Celsius (minus 8 Fahrenheit) in some areas.

Though by Friday temperatures were rising in parts of the region, large swaths of the Balkans still remained gripped by the snowy and cold weather.

In Bulgaria, the victim was found unresponsive Friday morning on a street in the southwestern town of Dupnitsa, said emergency official Anelia Georgieva.

This was the third cold-related death this season in Bulgaria. The bodies of a 70-year-old woman and a 59-year-old man were recovered Thursday from snowdrifts in the north of the country.

In Kosovo, police said the body of a 50-year-old man was found in the snow on Thursday in the northern part of the country.

At least nine deaths had been reported elsewhere in the Balkans earlier in the week.