Over 60 injured, Slovenian embassy ransacked

BELGRADE -- At least 30 policemen and 30 civilians were injured as protesters demonstrated against U.S. and EU Kosovo policy.

Gendarmes evacuate a wounded riot policeman (Beta)
Gendarmes evacuate a wounded riot policeman (Beta)

Police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse rioters that attacked them after vandalizing a McDonald's restaurant in downtown Belgrade.

Earlier, the Slovenian embassy came under attack when a group of some 30 people broke a police cordon to smash the windows and ransack the building, tearing and burning the furniture inside and flags displayed on the balcony. Police then managed to contain the situation and push them back.

Previuosly, the protesters, several hundred strong, shortly stopped in front of the Serbian government headquarters, to proceed toward the U.S. embassy.

Police were out to secure the parameter, but although the organizers said the protest would be peaceful, cars were being demolished, while stones and lit flares were flying toward the embassy building and the officers themselves.

The doctors at the emergency center say that 18 of the 30 injured officers have been transferred to the military clinic, VMA. The number is not final.
More than 30 rioters were also reported injured. They attacked B92, Studio B, and RTS television crews, and a FoNet news agency photographer.
MUP's riot police, but also elite Gendarmes, wearing crowd dispersal gear, pushed the protesters down the street, away from the embassy.

Afterwards the rioting spread, with groups of hooligans still demolishing cars, traffic signs and containers all over the capital.

Earlier, protesters, who said they would "permanently block the building", were carrying Serbian state flags and chanting, "Kosovo is Serbia", "We won't give up Kosovo", but also an offensive slogan previously reserved for Slobodan Milošević and opposition rallies against his regime, now directed at Prime Minister Vojislav Koštunica, "Save Serbia and kill yourself, Koštunica".

They were also shouting out the name of the war crimes indictee Ratko Mladić and anti-Albanian slogans advocating violence.