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February 18, 2008

Sulmohet ambasada amerikane ne Serbi

Filed under: Lajme --- News — halfevil @ 7:37 pm

Belgrade Clashes Over Kosovo’s Independence

Photo by Balkan Insight

Photo by Balkan Insight

17 February 2008 Belgrade _ Hundreds of protesters clashed with Serbian police on Sunday evening, hours after Kosovo’s leaders unilaterally declared the province’s independence from Serbia.

At least 12 protesters, mainly fans of local soccer clubs and skinheads, were injured and arrested in several skirmishes in the Serbian capital.

The crowd damaged the Slovenian embassy, a McDonald’s restaurant and about a dozen shop windows.

“We hate the West, we hate Western values and civilization,” said a club-wielding protestor who identified himself as Nikola.

They chanted «Kosovo is Serbia» and slogans against Kosovo Albanians, Serbian President Boris Tadic and pro-Western opposition leaders, but also against conservative Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica.

Masked thugs chanted the name of the Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladic, accused of genocide in the Bosnian 1992-95 war, who is still at large.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in a skirmish at the downtown Terazije square, forcing the crowd to disperse, leaving overturned garbage containers, broken glass, stone fragments and other debris behind.

Eyewitnesses said that protesters stoned the Belgrade headquarters of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, the only Serbian political party that has supported the possibility of Kosovo’s independence, and a nearby café.

B92 television reported that at 9 pm several groups were still in the streets, regrouping and returning to places from which police had earlier chased them away. The station reported that at least 11 policemen had been injured in clashes.

The protesters also smashed windows at the embassies of France and Brazil, according to local media and eyewitnesses, where later re-reinforced police protected and restore order.
«Then police started fighting back at demonstrators,» said a journalist from a Belgrade daily «Alo» who himself got beaten by police but was not seriously hurt.

He said that protesters were smashing everything they came across before police stepped in

Although officials have publicly called for calm, B92 also reported that journalists had seen officials of Democratic Party of Serbia, the party of Vojislav Kostunica, the current prime minister, among protesters in the northern city of Novi Sad.

Also spotted, according to the report, were representatives from the Socialist Party of Serbia, the party previously led by Slobodan Milosevic, the late wartime president.

Protesters in Novi Sad threw stones at two bakeries and a local McDonald’s restaurant.

A strong police presence was expected to remain in place in downtown Belgrade through Sunday night, guarding government buildings and embassies

Earlier in the evening, protesters had blocked the United States embassy in downtown Belgrade, pelting the embassy building and police with stones and signal torches. At least one policeman was carried away in an ambulance.

Serbian police in full riot gear had cordoned off the embassy and managed to push protestors away from the embassy.

“We want to show we hate Yanks and Shiptars,” said a young protester who identified himself only as Dejan. “Shiptar” is a derogatory Serbian term for Kosovo Albanians.

The protest was staged despite repeated warnings from top officials, including Serbia’s president, prime minister and parliamentary speaker, who urged people to remain calm while promising that they would employ peaceful means to annul Kosovo’s declaration of independence.

“Serbia will not turn to violence. This is the only approach that will allow us to fulfill our legitimate goal aimed at preserving integrity of the country,” Boris Tadic, the president, said in a statement .

In an emotional address to the nation, Vojislav Kostunica, the prime minister, said that the United States had “humiliated and forced Europe Union to discard its basic principles.”

“Europe bowed before America and it will be held responsible for all the consequences that will arise from Kosovo’s independence,” Kostunica said.

Meanwhile, Tadic’s office announced he would travel to New York to take part in an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council, called by Russia.

Serbia and Russia staunchly oppose Kosovo’s independence, which has been backed by the US and most EU member states.

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