Nepal | August 08, 2020

Serbian police say 23 held, 60 hurt in clashes

Associated Press
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BELGRADE: Serbian police say 23 people have been detained and scores of police officers and demonstrators injured in clashes that erupted over announced return of lockdown measures against the new coronavirus.

Police director Vladimir Rebic told the state RTS television that police are working to identify more people who took part in the rioting in central Belgrade that left 43 police officers and 17 demonstrators injured.

Thousands of people came out in the streets on Tuesday evening after autocratic President Aleksandar Vucic announced that a curfew will be imposed for the entire weekend in Belgrade. Serbia on Tuesday reported the highest single-day death toll of 13 amid 299 new COVID-19 cases.

Clashes erupted after some supporters of right-wing groups stormed the parliament during protests. Police responded by throwing loads of tear gas.

Vucic has described the virus situation in Belgrade as “alarming,” saying hospitals in Belgrade were full. But many in Serbia blame the populist strongman for lifting the previous lockdown measures just so he would cement his grip on power after parliamentary elections. He has denied those claims.

Rebic says “hooligans” threw rocks, bottles and other objects at police and set on fire five police vehicles. Videos from the scene showed police beating up some of the demonstrators and detaining them.


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