US Mission Reopens in Belgrade

Building cleaned up, but bears scars from last week's violent protests
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2008 12:56 PM CST
A rioter throws a block of wood into the burning U.S. embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008. A week of unabated violence, including the torching of the U.S. Embassy, raises questions about...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Workers were still cleaning up damage from last week’s violent demonstrations when the US embassy in Belgrade reopened today, Reuters reports. Protesters set fire to and ransacked the building last Thursday to protest the US’ support of Kosovo in the province's declaration of independence. Now, though the building still bears scars, it is once again open for business.

But things aren’t quite back to normal. The embassy won’t be giving out visas yet because the visa section was basically destroyed, and won’t reopen until standard security measures are back in place. The US has also warned Americans against traveling to Serbia, and non-essential embassy staff and family members have been sent to neighboring Croatia indefinitely.