Violence during Montenegro's first gay parade

Rioting has been reported in Montenegro's seaside resort of Budva, where the country's first Pride Parade was taking place on Wednesday.

Source: B92, Vijesti, Tanjug
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Attackers first pelted the participants in the parade with stones and eggs as they were arriving in Budva.

Our reporter said that there was "chaos" in the town, with "bottles and glasses" flying in the direction of the gay parade participants.

The parade's itinerary was cut short for security concerns, with 400 officers deployed.

It is expected that the evacuation of the parade's participants will begin after 13:00 CET. Our reporter said that at least three persons were arrested, and that they were "very young" - although it was unclear if they were minors, and football supporters, as has been speculated.

Beta news agency has reported that the police were deployed in great numbers and succeeded in preventing major incidents. But the participants of the Pride Parade held in Budva today met with "insults, stones and cursing at every turn."

Earlier in the day, opponents of the gathering clashed with the police.

Podgorica's Vijesti newspaper reported on its website that the police threw a smoke grenade in a bid to disperse the attackers, which in turn continued to throw stones at the officers.

Some 30 parade participants arrived in Budva along with a bus from Podgorica, while there was a strong police presence in the small seaside town, including special forces in full riot gear.

Meanwhile, the tourists spending their vacation in Budva are "confused" by the goings-on, our reporter, Darko Jevtić, said, and added:

"They see this is a circus, many are not clear on what is happening or why there is so much police around. The part of the town where the Pride Parade is planned to take place is completely cordoned off by the police, which protects and guards the participants. Local residents, and residents of other towns in Montenegro that I spoke to are mostly against the Pride Parade."

Tanjug has reported that several persons taking part in the attacks have been detained by the police.

Yesterday, death notices for one of the organizers cropped up in Budva, while a petition was signed against the holding of the parade. In protest against the gathering, owners of bars and restaurants in the seaside resort last night turned off the music in their establishments.

Earlier this week, the Montenegrin government said that the Pride Parade was meant to send the message that Montenegro was a society that respects human rights, while the police said they would do everything to make sure the gathering went peacefully.

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