Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Police have fired tear gas after being stoned by Bosnian Serb protesters trying to reach the US consulate in Banja Luka, Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Several people were injured and police made a number of arrests at the rally against Kosovo's recent declaration of independence from Serbia.
The demonstrators had chanted "Kosovo is Serbia" as they tried to get to the US mission, which was shut last week.
The US and a number of EU states have recognised Kosovo's independence.
Serbia, backed by Russia, says it will never do so. Serb protesters attacked the US embassy in Belgrade last week.

About 10,000 demonstrators took part in the largely peaceful rally.
"We will not give the Serbian soul to the devil," they chanted.
Some demanded independence for their Republika Srpska - one of two entities comprising Bosnia-Hercegovina.
Addressing the rally, Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik said the gathering was "a democratic, human revolt".
"This badge that I have on reads 'Kosovo is Serbia' and I will always tell this to everyone," he said.
"As long as we live here, we will not recognise Kosovo as independent," Mr Dodik said.
Later a group split from the protest to head towards the US consulate, which was closed last week because of threats.
Protesters broke shop windows and threw stones at police who blocked the streets leading to the building with armoured vehicles.
Last week a man died after the US embassy in Belgrade, Serbia's capital, was attacked during a similar rally.
Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica has recalled the nation's ambassador to the US over the matter.
Most Serbs regard Kosovo as their religious and cultural heartland.
Serbia, supported by Russia and China, says Kosovo's independence declaration - made on 17 February - violates international law.
A 2,000-strong European Union mission will be deployed to help Kosovo develop its police force and judiciary.



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