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Serbian police clashed with supporters of right-wing groups in Belgrade as they tried to violently disrupt Belgrade's Pride parade on Sunday.
Street fights between hundreds of members of right-wing organizations and police erupted at several locations in the city centre.
The protesters, trying to reach the location of the parade, attacked police with bricks and Molotov cocktails, chanting, "death to gays". Police responded with tear gas. Serbia's anti terrorist unit also took the streets in jeeps in order to seal off the protesters. Hospitals reported admitting at least 90 people with injuries.
Fighting first erupted in the city's Kardjodjev park, where youngsters attacked police, chanting, "Go to Kosovo", and, "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia". Protesters also threw Molotov cocktails at the headquarters of the ruling Democratic Party, where part of the building was briefly set on fire.The offices of the Liberal Party and Serbia's Socialist Party were also attacked with stones.
Police were also briefly engaged in a stand-off with protesters in front of the parliament building, where two people were arrested after police took control of the area.
The building of Serbia's public broadcaster, RTS, was also attacked by hooligans, who destroyed the entrance and broke windows on the lower floors. Several buses were completely demolished and at least two cars were set on fire.
The prosecutor's office said it would file charges against all those involved in the rampage. Police have not yet released the number of arrests made during the riots.
However, the 5,000-strong police force managed to seal off the area where the parade took place so that the march of around 1,000 people attending the parade passed off without incident.
The Pride parade ended with a party held at the Student Cultural Centre from which participants were to be escorted by police vehicles.
Sunday's march was viewed as a major test for Serbia's government, which has vowed to protect human and minority rights as it presents its candidacy to join the European Union.
The first Pride parade, in June 2001, ended in carnage after clashes with protesters left several marchers and police injured.
Almost eight years later, parliament adopted an Anti-Discrimination Law prohibiting, among other things, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and transgender status.
The second planned Pride rally in Belgrade, scheduled for September last year, was cancelled after police said they could not guarantee the safety of the marchers following receipt of threats from right-wing groups.
A Pride Parade is to be held in Belgrade on October 10, Serbia's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, LGBT, has announced.
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