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    Serbia police detain 71 after 4th night of virus protests

    Serbian police detained 71 people after clashes during the fourth night of anti-government protests against the Serbian president that were initially sparked by his plans to reintroduce a coronavirus lockdown.

    Fourteen policemen were injured in the rioting Friday evening when hundreds of right-wing demonstrators tried to storm the parliament building in downtown Belgrade, police director Vladimir Rebic said Saturday. Many demonstrators and several reporters were also injured in the protests. More protests were expected Saturday night.

    Serbian media reported that among the detained is a former parliament member and one of the leaders of the violent protesters, pro-Russian far-right politician Srdjan Nogo.

    The protesters, defying an anti-virus ban on gatherings, threw bottles, rocks and flares at police who were guarding the parliament building, and police responded with tear gas to disperse the angry crowds.

    Similar clashes erupted twice earlier this week. The protests first started when populist President Aleksandar Vucic announced a strict curfew for this weekend to curb a surge in new coronavirus cases in the Balkan country

    Vucic later scraped the plan to impose the lockdown. Authorities instead banned gatherings of more than 10 people in Belgrade, the capital, and shortened the working hours of indoor businesses.

    Many in Serbia accuse the increasingly authoritarian Vucic and his government of letting the virus crisis spin out of control in order to hold a parliamentary election on June 21 that tightened the ruling party’s grip on power.

    source: foxnews

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