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Hundreds of thousands of Serbs demonstrate against Kosovo independence

de Radu Rizea
Joi, 21 februarie 2008, 15:46 English | Regional Europe

Several hundreds of thousands of Serbs participate in a meeting against the Kosovo independence. Organizers claim that over one million people are expected to gather in the center of Belgrade today. Similar protests will be organized on other Serb cities as well, including in Kosovo.

In Kosovska Mitrovica, the Serbs will protest for the fifth day in the row against the Kosovo independence. Authorities announced that 85 people were injured so far during the confrontations between demonstrants and the Police.

According to organizers, the meeting today is as large as the meetings during the Kosovo were and similar in size with the protests that led to the throw down of Slobodan Milosevic. Schools remain closed in Belgrade and governmental institutions allow employees to leave their jobs early, in order to participate in the meeting.

The meeting, called "Kosovo is Serbia" will have speakers as the Serb Prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, tennis player Novak Djokovic and movie director Emir Kusturica.

Throughout the day:

11:35h Vladimir Putin and Mikhail Saakasvili will discuss in Moscow the consequences of Kosovo self-proclaiming its independence on the separatist regions in Georgia.

11:45h Italy formally recognized the Kosovo independence.

12:00h The Russian Federation hailed Romania's position on Kosovo.

12:30h A UN court building is attacked in MItrovica.

13:30h One thousands Serbs protest in Banja Luka.

13:40h Pope Benedict XVI calls for reconciliation.

15:20h A group of Serbs attacks Kosovo policemen at the Kosovo - Serbia border


20:30h Some 300 Serb demonstrants attacked the US Embassy and set on fire the facade, cheered by the crowd. Official estimations show some 100 injured persons after last night's riot. A carbonized body was found in the embassy, but the American diplomacy say he is not one of the US employees.

19:00h: Youngsters wearing ski masks attacked the Turkish Embassy in Belgrade

18:30h Slovenia and Luxembourg recognize the Kosovo independence

18:20h Kostunica: Kosovo always did and always will belong to Serbia

18:05h The meeting begins. Prime Minister Kostunica is the first to speak.

17:30h Demonstrants in Belgrade also wave Romanian flags

17:15h Kosovo Police find an explosive charge on a street in Mitrovica

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