Cyberwanderer’s Blog

February 21, 2008

Serbs attack U.S. Embassy in Belgrade

Filed under: World News — cyberwanderer @ 3:12 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

embassyfire.jpgSerbs protester storms the U.S. embassy in Belgrade and set it on fire. Police tried to clear the crowd using tear gas. Police estimates the crowd in the Serbian capital at 150,000. The rally was organized to protest Kosovo’s independence and its recognition by dozens of countries which includes the United States. Emotions were running high.

 

 

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usembbelgrade.jpg“The loss of Kosovo is a huge humiliation. It’s awful what they are doing to us,” said Danica, a government employee who did not want to give her surname.
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A few score protesters, some in balaclavas, later threw flares and stones at the U.S. embassy and tried to rip up boards covering its windows since they were smashed in riots earlier in the week.

In other protests, several hundred Serb army veterans at a border post between Kosovo and Serbia stoned Kosovo riot police who, backed by Czech troops in riot gear, stood their ground until the protesters dispersed. No one was hurt.
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Politicians were present at the rally.

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“As long as we live, Kosovo is Serbia,” Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica told the crowd from a stage in front of the old Yugoslav parliament building in Belgrade, to applause.

“We’ll never give up Kosovo, never!” protesters chanted back, as they waved national flags. A huge banner reading “Kosovo is Serbia” draped the front of the building.

“We’re not alone in our fight. President Putin is with us,” Kostunica said, paying tribute to the Russian leader who has opposed U.S. and European states’ recognition of Kosovo.

A few people waved the flags of Russia and of Spain — which has also refused to recognize Pristina’s secession on Sunday.
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“The politicians are trying to take advantage of the situation. This is not what people wanted. Not these empty words,” said one protester, Dejan Pavlovic.

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This country is no stranger to conflict. Start of World War I is usually attributed to the Serbian assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne in Sarajevo, setting off a war between Serbia and Austria-Hungary. That event culminated into the first World War.

belgradestreet.jpg kosovoborder.jpg

Kosovo’s independence have caused unease among several nations especially those who have their own separatist problem like Canada, China and Spain. Supporters of Kosovo’s independence argue there’s no parallel between Kosovo and the other nations since there’s no genocide against the separatist in the other nations. Opponent fear it could set off breakaway of nations based on ethnic lines. China and Spain were among the nation to come out and oppose Kosovo’s independence while Canada have not announce their official position yet.

Sources: Sloban Lekic, Associated Press and Ellie Tzortzi, Reuters

Related videos:

Globe and Mail Video

BBC News Video

Youtube video of earlier scuffle in U.S. Embassy right after Kosovo declared independence


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