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Photograph: Freeimages.com / Owen Parry

The association Zagreb Pride on Sunday most strongly condemned an attempt to set on fire the Zagreb Pride flag hoisted in the city's Ban Josip Jelacic Square this past Thursday, calling on the police to do their best to find the perpetrators.

Zagreb Pride said two men tried to set alight the flag around 2 am on Saturday, with one of them climbing the flagpole and dousing the flag with a flammable liquid and the other one filming him.

Zagreb Pride said its flags, which are hoisted on city flagpoles ahead of Pride marches, were made by workers of the now defunct Kamensko textile factory, and are of great importance for the Croatian LGBTQ community.

"We gather under that flag once a year in a Pride march to show that we exist. The flags mean that we are here, that Zagreb is the city we live in, that this is a country for all of us and that we want to live here," the association said.

"We see the reason for this act of vandalism in the attitude of the incumbent government, which has brought a culture of violence, arson and extremism that wants to annihilate any diversity in our homeland. That culture of exclusiveness has been recognised not only by Croatian citizens but by the entire world. Let us therefore say 'It's been enough' to darkness and extremism. Croatia needs, wants and loves diversity," Zagreb Pride said, calling on all citizens, notably families, to join in the 15th Zagreb Pride parade on June 11 and support the fight for a free, peaceful and happy life of all people in Croatia.

Zagreb police said they did not receive any report about flag burning.

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