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Thread: US Embassy burned in Serbia amid protests

  1. #1
    Elite Member Cali's Avatar
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    Default US Embassy burned in Serbia amid protests

    US embassy in Belgrade attacked
    Police were not guarding the embassy at the time

    Several hundred protesters have attacked and broken into the US embassy in the Serbian capital Belgrade, setting fire to part of it.
    The embassy was closed and unprotected at the time. Reports say the Croatian embassy was also attacked.
    The incidents came as at least 150,000 people rallied in protest at Kosovo's declaration of independence.
    Protesters with flags and flares filled the main square. PM Vojislav Kostunica said Kosovo would always be Serbian.
    Earlier, on Serbia's de facto border with Kosovo, Serb army reservists attacked Kosovan police with stones and set fire to tyres.
    Most Serbs consider Kosovo their religious and cultural heartland.
    Prayers
    US state department spokesman Sean McCormack said a number of Serbians had penetrated the embassy compound, and urged the authorities to take control of the situation.

    In pictures: Belgrade rally

    A blaze broke out in several rooms inside the compound.
    One protester is reported to have climbed onto the first floor and ripped the US flag from its pole.
    Riot police backed by armoured cars fired tear gas at the protesters.
    The incidents came towards the end of the main demonstration, outside the parliament.
    Protester Jelena Subin told the BBC it felt as if there were a million people at the Belgrade rally.
    The main rally outside parliament was peaceful

    "There is a great feeling of sadness, not anger. We want it to be a peaceful protest. We want to show the world that Kosovo belongs to Serbia," she said.

    Mr Kostunica addressed the crowds from a large stage, draped in two huge Serbian flags and with a banner reading "Kosovo is Serbia" at the back.
    "As long as we live, Kosovo is Serbia," he said to cheers and applause. "Kosovo belongs to the Serbian people."
    "We'll never give up Kosovo, never!" the crowd responded.
    "Is there any other nation on Earth from whom [the great powers] are demanding that they give up their identity, to give up our brothers in Kosovo?" he added.
    Ultra-nationalist leader Tomislav Nikolic accused the US and EU of trying to steal Kosovo.
    "We will not rest until Kosovo is again under Serbia's control," he said.
    "Hitler could not take it away from us, and neither will today's [Western powers]."
    Other speakers included Australian Open tennis champion Novak Djokovic, who addressed the crowd by video link.
    After the speeches, the crowd marched to the city's biggest church, the Temple of Saint Sava.
    Border protest
    There was thick, black smoke billowing from the crossing point at Merdare, 50km (30 miles) north-east of Kosovo's capital Pristina.


    Serbs waved large tricolour Serbian flags, chanted "Kosovo is Serbia" and tried to cross the border.
    "We are here in support of the Serbs who still live in Kosovo," Dejan Milosevic, one of the organisers, told the Associated Press news agency.
    The Kosovo police, backed by Czech troops from the Nato-led peacekeeping force, put a steel barrier across the road and were able to hold their line.
    The Serbs have now pulled back and ended their protest.
    Protest rallies were also held in the Bosnian Serb republic (Republika Srpska). There were unconfirmed reports of injuries as several hundred protesters clashed with police outside the US consulate in Banja Luka.
    The US, the UK, Germany and Italy have all recognised Kosovo.
    In the coming weeks, an almost 2,000-strong EU mission will be deployed to help the country develop its police force and judiciary.

    BBC NEWS | Europe | US embassy in Belgrade attacked

    the video of the demonstration and protesters are incredible. what a mess.


  2. #2
    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Yup... a shit storm... Some idiot asked me about the US and Cuba and I was like wtf does it really matter... I asked him "So what do you think about Kosovo and its independence; wasn't too long ago that whole region was lobbing bombs at eachother and what not while the UN ran around?" He hadn't given it any thought.

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    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    I do not like it..it is a dangerous situation..i am afraid a major shitstorm is brewing..

  4. #4
    A*O
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    Here we go again. The Balkan region has always been a racial, cultural, tribal, religious tinderbox. By some miracle Gen Tito managed to drag everyone together into some kind of stability under the umbrella of Yugoslavia but that only lasted as long as he did. The Serbs have been ranting and raving in Melbourne too and then of course the Croatians have to wade in with ancient grievances. There's usually a punch up at the Australian Open tennis tournament between all these hotheads. My cousin is married to a Serb and he's a great guy provided he doesn't get drunk when he starts screaming and yelling about "fucking Croats". You only have to scratch the surface for all this racial and religious tension to spill out.
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    Elite Member effie2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A*O View Post
    Here we go again. The Balkan region has always been a racial, cultural, tribal, religious tinderbox. By some miracle Gen Tito managed to drag everyone together into some kind of stability under the umbrella of Yugoslavia but that only lasted as long as he did. The Serbs have been ranting and raving in Melbourne too and then of course the Croatians have to wade in with ancient grievances. There's usually a punch up at the Australian Open tennis tournament between all these hotheads. My cousin is married to a Serb and he's a great guy provided he doesn't get drunk when he starts screaming and yelling about "fucking Croats". You only have to scratch the surface for all this racial and religious tension to spill out.
    I wouldnt say racial,mostly religious-cultural differences..
    It was and is a Catholic -Orthodox thing with the Muslims siding with the Catholics.
    Most of the historic churches and monasteries of Serbia are in kosovo ,its the cultural and religious heart of Serbia...

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    Elite Member Mariesoleil's Avatar
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    Riots have broken out now. Seems like they found a charred body in the embassy.

    Serb protesters attack U.S. Embassy

    *NEW: Charred body found in the U.S. Embassy compound
    -Turkish, British and Croatian embassies also targeted
    -U.S. among the first to officially recognize independent Kosovo

    (CNN) -- Angry demonstrators protesting Kosovo's independence from Serbia attacked the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade on Thursday, throwing rocks, breaking windows and setting fires.

    Flames light up the facade of the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia.


    Serbian TV showed someone trying to set fire to the U.S. flag at the embassy, which was closed and unstaffed when the masked protesters attacked.

    Riot police fired tear gas at the rioters and lines of armored vehicles were on the streets before the embassy perimeter was secured. A State Department official told CNN "things are under control."
    Kosovo declared independence last Sunday and the United States was among the first countries to offer official recognition of its split from Serbia.

    One charred body was found in the U.S. Embassy compound, embassy spokesman in Belgrade William Wanlund said. The only Americans at the embassy during the violence were Marines, who are all said to be accounted for.

    Bratislaw Grubacic, chief editor of VIP magazine in Belgrade, said police reported 32 people injured, including 14 police officers.

    Teresa Gould, a translator for Belgrade TV, said the Croatian Embassy next door also was attacked. Police quickly rounded up the demonstrators, witnesses said.

    Smaller groups attacked police posts outside the Turkish and British Embassies in another part of the city but were beaten back, The Associated Press reported.

    Richard Holbrooke, a former negotiator in the Balkans under President Clinton, said: "The fact that (independence has) not happened as peacefully as people had hoped is the direct result of the incitement to violence by extremist elements in Belgrade, implicitly and privately supported by the Russians."
    Zalmay Khalilzad, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, expressed outrage at the "mob attack."

    "I'm going to go into the Security Council and ask for a unanimous statement to be issued expressing the council's outrage, condemning the attack and also reminding the Serb government of its responsibility to protect diplomatic facilities," he said.

    The violence was part of a much bigger, peaceful demonstration where up to 150,000 people chanted 'Kosovo is Serbia," and vowed to never accept the province's independence.

    The larger group of protesters marched to the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Sava, where a huge outdoor prayer service was held.
    Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica, who earlier addressed the peaceful rally, said "Kosovo is Serbia's first name." He called the declaration of independence last Sunday illegal and said he will do all he can to get it annulled.

    State railroads provided free transport to protesters, and schools across the country were closed Thursday for the "Kosovo is Ours" rally in the Serb capital, The Associated Press reported.

    Tensions also erupted at the Kosovo border checkpoint in Merdare -- about 50 kilometers (30 miles) northeast of Kosovo's capital Pristina -- as several hundred Serbian army reservists clashed with NATO-led peacekeepers and police, AP said.

    Photographs showed demonstrators, many of them wearing their reservist uniform, hurling rocks and setting tires alight to create a wall of smoke.

    U.N. police said the demonstrators had come by bus from the Serbian town of Kursumlija and were largely army veterans who had fought with the Serbian side in Kosovo's 1998-1999 war, AP reported.

    Following the clashes, the demonstrators dismantled and returned to the Serbian side of the checkpoint.

    Meanwhile several hundred Bosnian Serbs rallied in the Bosnian city of Banja Luka and in the Sarajevo suburb of Lukavica, AP said.
    Students in Lukavica were seen waving Serbian flags and singing Serbian patriotic songs while police in Banja Luka were stopping demonstrators from marching on the U.S. consulate there.
    The breakaway region has been recognized by the U.S. and several EU nations including the UK, France and Germany but the government in Belgrade maintains that Kosovo is a part of Serbia.
    Amid simmering tensions in northern Kosovo, home to most of the region's Serb minority, there were fears that Thursday's rally could spill over into violence, as was seen at the Merdare border crossing, following attacks by Serb nationalists on western targets in Belgrade including the U.S. embassy earlier this week.

    The U.S. Embassy in Belgrade advised American citizens to stay away from the gathering, warning that "businesses and organizations with U.S. affiliations may serve as focal points for these demonstrations."

    "We wish to remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any protests," a statement said.

    On Thursday, Italy became the latest European nation to recognize Kosovo's sovereignty, AP reported.

    "The recognition of Kosovo's independence does not take away anything from our closeness to Serbia," Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi told reporters.

    Russia and China continue to oppose Kosovo's declaration of independence while Spain has expressed concern that recognition will give momentum to secessionist movements in other countries, such as the Basques in northern Spain.

    Serb protesters attack U.S. Embassy - CNN.com
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