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News 17 Oct 12

Violence Mars Macedonia-Serbia Football Match

Serbian and Montenegrin fans were injured on Tuesday in Skopje in two separate incidents involving ethnic Albanians before a football match between Serbia and Macedonia.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

Skopje’s football stadium | Photo by: Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Two Montenegrins and three Serbian football fans were attacked by unidentified groups in the mainly Albanian area of the Macedonian capital near the old bazaar.

All were beaten and one Serbian fan suffered a knife wound, though his life is not in danger, police and medical staff said.

Serbian media reported that the attackers were ethnic Albanians.

Throughout the day, heavy riot and regular police were dispersed in central Skopje to prevent possible violence at the football match.

The actual game went ahead in a good atmosphere before 20,000 fans in Skopje’s national arena. Macedonia won 1:0 against Serbia.

But after the match the police had to use tear gas and stun grenades to disperse crowds in the city centre.

Riot police prevented a clash between rival groups of local Albanians and Serbian and Macedonian fans massing near the main city square.

Unconfirmed reports say more injuries occurred in the old Skopje bazaar area as police tried to disperse a group of Albanians who tried to reach the main square and engage in a fight.


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