Anti-Gay Protesters Clash With Police In Belgrade

"(Source : telegraph) The clashes and massive police deployment in Belgrade highlighted the intolerance that still pervades Serbian society a decade after the country ousted strongman Slobodan Milosevic, ending Serbia's pariah status during the war years of the 1990s. ""It is a shame for me to march, to stand for what I am, and to have thousands of cops protect me from hysteric nationalists,"" said Milena, 36, a lesbian activist. Ambulances raced down the streets of Belgrade and one official told Reuters that 70 police officers had required medical attention, with one seriously wounded. Bloodied police could be seen leaving the scene and witnesses heard gunshots fired toward security forces in one instance as the clashes continued. Groups of nationalists, skinheads and hooligans threw stones at police sporting riot gear. Others attempted to block traffic by overturning rubbish bins on major streets and sang nationalist songs. Witnesses said the police were making many arrests. Many see Sunday's march as a test of Serbia's readiness to become a more modern, open society after the hatred and intolerance that fuelled the 1990s Balkan wars. The violence comes two days ahead of a planned visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who wants to highlight Washington's support for Belgrade's aspirations to join the European Union. "