Kosovo: 10 policemen injured, 24 protesters arrested

SOURCETanjug

PRISTINA – By using tear gas, police managed to disperse protesters, after at the end of the protest they started hurling Molotov cocktails and stones at the government building in Pristina on Saturday.

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According to Tanjug’s on-site reporter, the central city square is littered with stones, parts of banners, and smoke bombs used by police.

Supporters of the opposition held another protest in Pristina on Saturday, demanding that the government scrap the EU-brokered deal relating to the establishment of the Community of Serb Municipalities and the agreement on border demarcation with Montenegro. The protesters also urged the government to step down.

Kosovo Police Spokesman Baki Keljani said that 10 policemen, two protesters and two reporters had been injured in Saturday’s opposition protest, and that 24 protesters had been arrested.

He told a news conference that Kosovo police had shown much restraint and had not responded until protesters started using Molotov cocktails, noting that police used only regular anti-riot means, Pristina media reported.

Keljani dismissed the opposition’s claims that police had prevent activists from other parts from coming to the protest, and their estimates concerning the number of protesters, saying that around 8,000 people took part in the demonstrations.

Basri Lenjani, head of the emergency department, said that they had admitted 11 people with injuries – seven policemen, two protesters, one passer-by and one cameraman.

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) voiced concern on Saturday about the violence observed at the protests in Pristina’s city center.

“Such acts by certain individuals have no place in a democratic society and have nothing to do with the legitimate right to peaceful protest expressed by many others,” UNMIK said in a release.

UNMIK urges a return to democratic means of expressing opinions, including through the Kosovo Assembly, reads the release.

The EU Office in Pristina also condemned the violence and the destruction of public property, calling for peace and restraint, the news website koha.net reported.

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