15 injured, 24 arrested in Pristina protest

At least 15 people have been injured, including two journalists, in riots which erupted in Pristina on Saturday during a protest by opposition sympathisers, with police bringing in 24 protesters, official sources in Pristina said.

Kosovo opposition sympathisers protested against a Belgrade-Pristina agreement reached in Brussels, which gives greater local powers to the Serb minority, and a Kosovo-Montenegro border agreement.

They threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the government building and demanded the resignation of the Isa Mustafa Cabinet. They carried banners against the agreements as well as flags of the Kosovo Liberation Army, the US and Albania, shouting slogans against the government, Prime Minister Mustafa and a community of Serb municipalities which the government agreed to in the Brussels agreement.

"Ten police officers, three protesters and two journalists have been injured," Pristina police spokesman Baki Kelani was quoted as saying.

Police estimate that about 8,000 people took part in the protest, while the opposition says between 70,000 and 100,000.

Two riot police caught fire when Molotov cocktails were thrown at them, while one was injured by a stone. A minor fire broke out in the government building caused by Molotov cocktails.

The situation seemingly calmed down around 4 pm after President Atifete Jahjaga and opposition leader Ramush Haradinaj called on the protesters to calm down and disperse. Around 5 pm, a group of them tried to break through to the centre of Pristina but police stopped them with water cannons.

Opposition leaders Haradinaj and Fatmir Limaj said the protests would last "until the coalition government falls."

Last update: Sat, 09/01/2016 - 20:18
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