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Serbian leader says Srebrenica PM attack reminds of pre-war times

Published by Business Insider on Sun, 12 Jul 2015

Belgrade (AFP) - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said Sunday that an attack on the country's prime minister at a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre recalled similar incidents ahead of the 1990s Bosnia war."No one should remain indifferent towards the savagery of that incident which recalls those of 1992" just before the start of Bosnia's 1992-1995 inter-ethnic war, Nikolic said in a statement.An angry crowd hurling stones and plastic bottles chased Serbia's Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic from Saturday's commemoration of the 1995 slaughter of some 8,000 Muslims in Srebrenica.Vucic, whose country backed Bosnian Serbs during and after the 1992-1995 war, was among numerous dignitaries, including former US president Bill Clinton, and tens of thousands of people attending the commemoration in the eastern Bosnian town.He had earlier condemned the "monstrous crime" in Srebrenica, where some 8,000 Muslim boys and men were murdered by Bosnian Serb forces who had captured Srebrenica in July 1995, near the end of Bosnia's war.In Belgrade later, the premier told reporters he was not hurt by a stone that hit him in the mouth and that only his glasses were broken in the attack.Nikolic labelled the incident a "lynching attempt" and estimated it "clearly shows the opinion of certain Muslim politicians and religious leaders on Serbs."Vucic was attacked because he came "with his hand extended in a sign of reconciliation," he said.Though international courts have recognised the Srebrenica massacre, the worst atrocity in Europe since World War II, as a genocide, this is still denied by Serbia and Bosnian Serbs.Underlining Serbia's "friendly stance towards other countries and nations" Nikolic said "others should reflect on what they are doing and what they have done in dragging us into new quarrels 20 years after the civil war" in Bosnia.Bosnia's presidency strongly condemned the attack and apologised to "all foreign delegations" over it. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the incident "went against the spirit of this day of remembrance."The Balkans region was torn apart by the series of wars that accompanied the collapse of the former Yugoslavia.The bloodiest conflict was in Bosnia, between its Croats, Muslims and Serbs, claiming some 100,000 lives.Join the conversation about this story
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