Rioters storm Belgrade city hall (VIDEOS) — RT World News

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The protesters claimed they intended to “liberate” and “defend” the government institutions, as they smashed windows

Hundreds of anti-government protesters attempted to break into the Belgrade City Hall on Sunday evening, in an escalation of violence that the Serbian president blamed on foreign interference and called an attempted “color revolution.”

The rioters claimed they intended “to liberate the institutions,” as they smashed the glass door while chanting “Get out” and “This is Serbia!” 

Police barricaded inside the building, holding the door with their backs and shields, according to videos of the unrest. At least two police officers were injured in clashes, as protesters pelted pieces of concrete, while urging them to leave the building and “stand on the side of the people.”

The member of the national assembly and a co-president of the Green-Left Front (ZLF) Radomir Lazovic claimed that the opposition “defends the institutions” and called “on the Gendarmerie and all the forces that use force to take shelter and allow people to speak from the balcony of the assembly.” 

“No one wants any harm or violence,” he said, as protesters continued to smash windows and vandalize the government building.

Once riot police reinforcements arrived, authorities quickly dispersed the crowd, arresting at least 35 “provocateurs.”

President Aleksandar Vucic praised police for withstanding “brutal attacks” and preserving the country’s independence and sovereignty.

The protests first erupted on Monday, with the opposition accusing the ruling party of “vote theft” during last week’s parliamentary elections that saw the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) win over the pro-EU Serbia Against Violence (SPN) coalition.

“Today there was an attempt to seize state institutions by force… Those who swear to fight against violence have shown that they are real thugs,” Vucic pointed out.

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