Kosovo: police tear-gas protestors after war victim comments cause outrage

Image by Andalu Agency
Image by Andalu Agency

Police in Kosovo’s capital, Pristina, yesterday used tear gas to disperse a crowd of over 2,000 protestors, gathered to demand the dismissal of Minister Aleksandar Jablanovic for comments made regarding Albanian war victims.

Minister Jablanovic, a Serb minister overlooking communities in Kosovo, caused widespread outrage in the country after describing an Albanian group as ‘savages’.

Following the comments protestors gathered in the capital city, many carrying Albanian flags, demanding the dismissal of Jablanovic, as well as a number of other government officials. The impromptu rally was organised by a coalition of opposition parties, including several pro-Albanian groups.

In response to the protest police officials attacked the gathered crowds with tear gas and water cannons. Many people were also arrested during the crackdown, including a number of opposition politicians and Kosovo’s mayor.

Tuesday’s rally comes just three days after a much larger protest turned violent after the local government refused to dismiss Minister Jablanovic.

The use of force against protestors has been criticised by many groups, who view the police crackdown as an unnecessary assault on protestors. According to several reports, dozens of people were injured, including a small number of seriously injured individuals who were hospitalised following the protests.

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