US Rips Serbian 'Thugs' in Embassy Attack

Government officials accused of sanctioning deadly violence
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2008 6:35 AM CST
Police vehicles pass by as rioters throw stones at the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008. Serb rioters set fire to an office inside the U.S. Embassy Thursday and police clashed...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The UN and US have strongly condemned attacks on the American and Croatian embassies in Belgrade during riots that erupted yesterday at a state-sponsored demonstration against Kosovo's independence. "Our embassy was attacked by thugs," said a White House spokeswoman. Rioters torched the embassies and had running battles with police in violence that killed one and injured more than 100. Some local politicians have accused members of the nationalist Serbian government of inciting the attacks, AP reports.

"We have seen a lot of disturbing reports about statements by Serbian government officials, even including a minister, about incitement to violence. This has to cease," said a spokesman for the US State Department, who added that a formal protest has been filed with the Serbian government.