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Serbian Citizens Protested Against The Restrictions Due To COVID-19

Serbian Citizens Protested Against The Restrictions Due To COVID-19

Protests related to the return of restrictions due to the deterioration of the epidemiological situation in Serbia took place on Thursday night in the cities of NIS, Kragujevac, and Novi Sad, according to the Serbian TV and radio company RTS.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said on RTS that nine policemen were injured in the clashes, one of them is in a serious condition - he has broken both legs. He described what was happening as "rampant violence."

During the riots in the Niche, when protesters threw stones, bottles and Molotov cocktails at police, an RTS operator was injured, he received a head injury, and his camera was smashed. The center of the protests in the city was the local Department of Internal Affairs.

In Kragujevac, protesters caused damage to the buildings of the city administration and police, Windows were broken in them, and rooms on the first floors were set on fire by flares.

In Belgrade, in some Central areas, protesters tried to attack police cordons but were stopped by tear gas. There were bangs, garbage containers that were overturned and set on fire. The Assembly building, which was attacked by demonstrators the day before, is under heavy security by law enforcement forces.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday blamed foreign security services for the violence that took place in the center of Belgrade the night before.

"This political speech was organized, and according to our security services, it was watched not only by criminal circles but also by foreign services," Vucic said, commenting on the events of last night in Belgrade.

According to him, "last night in Belgrade there was the most violent political violence in recent years when a protest was organized under the pretext of coronavirus, which went against everything and in particular with the legislation."

"It was used by people of the right orientation. The right, without hiding their pro-fascist views, clashed with police officers for several hours, threw stones at them, and clashed with them. The police responded with dignity and withstood incredible pressure, "the Serbian President said, noting that"the task of the police in any country is to protect state institutions."

"There is not a single country in the world where this would happen with impunity," Vucic said.

Serbian police chief Vladimir Rebic, in turn, said that during the riots at the protests in Belgrade on Wednesday night, police detained 23 people.

Besides, according to him, 60 people were injured during the protests and riots - 43 police officers and 17 protesters.

Rebic noted that the hooligans threw stones, bottles and other items at the police and set fire to five official cars.

On Wednesday night, thousands of people took to the streets of Belgrade to protest against the plans of the country's authorities to re-introduce restrictive measures due to the situation with the coronavirus. Protesters gathered outside the Parliament building and tried to storm it, chanting slogans calling for the government to resign. Police fired tear gas.

Serbian President Vucic earlier said that the situation with the coronavirus in Belgrade has become "critical" and"causes concern." In this regard, since Friday, a restrictive regime has been introduced in the Serbian capital, which, in particular, prohibits meetings in groups of more than five people.

The increase in new cases of coronavirus in Serbia in recent days has reached a peak that was observed at the height of the pandemic in this country in March and April. Hospitals in Belgrade are full, and the Serbian military has deployed a mobile hospital at the arena stadium in the capital.

According to the latest data, 299 new cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Serbia, and 13 people died.

In total, 16.7 thousand cases of COVID-19 were registered in the country during the pandemic, and 330 people died.