Clashes erupt in Belgrade to protest Mladic arrest

Supporters of genocide suspect Ratko Mladic gather during a rally organized by the ultranationalist Serbian Radical Party in front of the Parliament building, in Belgrade, Serbia, on Sunday, May 29, 2011. Mladic was arrested on Thursday in a village in Serbia after 16 years on the run. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

May 29, 2011 12:36:08 PM PDT
Clashes between riot police and nationalist supporters of jailed war crimes suspect Ratko Mladic are erupting in Serbia after a rally demanding his release.

Baton wielding police fought running battles with small groups throwing stones and bottles and setting off firecrackers. The skirmishes took place in several locations in the center of the capital on Sunday. There were no immediate reports of injuries or arrests.

The trouble began after thousands of demonstrators, many singing nationalist songs and carrying banners honoring Mladic, poured into the street outside Serbia's parliament to demand the release of the wartime Bosnian commander, whom they consider a hero.

More than 3,000 riot police were deployed around government buildings and Western embassies, fearing that the demonstration could turn violent, as similar rallies have in the past. Riot police tried to block small groups of extremists from reaching the rally.


Dusan Stojanovic and Danica Kirka contributed.