SECOND night of clashes in Serbia
... as government & opposition blame each other for protests over Covid-19 lockdown
Thousands of people gathered in Belgrade and other major cities to protest the Serbian government’s intent to reimpose coronavirus lockdowns. Stones and teargas flew as they clashed with riot police long into the night.
Police in Belgrade have reportedly dispersed the bulk of the demonstrators by midnight local time on Wednesday, after nearly five hours of standoffs and clashes with a crowd of mostly young men and women.
What started on Tuesday as a protest against the announced second round of Covid-19 lockdowns quickly turned into an attempt to storm the parliament and fights with the police.
Demonstrators used garbage bins and planters to set up barricades and blocked streetcar and vehicle traffic in downtown Belgrade for several hours, local media reported. The government responded with riot police, armored vehicles of the Gendarmerie, and horse cavalry sent to push back and disperse the crowd.
Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said 10 officers were injured on Wednesday, including one who broke both legs after being pushed down a flight of stairs. He added that police only used force when the protesters tried to “lynch” them, using fence posts, clubs, shovels, rocks, teargas canisters and even Molotov cocktails to attack the officers.
Meanwhile, videos shared by protesters on social media showed a group of riot police beating up a demonstrator curled up on the ground.
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