10,000 protest in Moldova over missing $1.5 billion

CHISINAU, MOLDOVA: About 10,000 Moldovans have staged an anti-government protest, demanding a probe into the up to $1.5 billion that disappeared from three Moldovan banks last year.

Some protesters scuffled with police and tried to push their way into Parliament. Protesters gathered in a main square in the capital, Chisinau, for the fourth consecutive Sunday of anti-government demonstrations, which began on September 6.

Protesters want a probe into the missing money and for those responsible to be prosecuted. The losses were covered by state reserves in Moldova, one of Europe's poorest countries.

They are also demanding early elections and for the president, the prime minister and others to resign.

On Saturday, two pro-Russian parties erected about 250 tents near Parliament, blocking the capital's main street. They took the tents down Sunday.