Serbia’s Gendarmerie and special unit beat on Wednesday demonstrators who fell in a stampede after the police threw teargas in the crowd, while speculations arose about who provoked the unrest, with the opposition, analysts and some protesters blaming the authorities. N1 reported.
The anti-government protest continued on Wednesday night, after violence on Tuesday in which the police used teargas, horses and dogs to disperse the protesters who initially surprised them and briefly entered the Parliament building.
Earlier, Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic blame far-rightist, criminals, opposition and foreign security services for the last night's riots.
He said no one would destabilise Serbia and that those responsible for attacking the police would be punished 'without mercy.'
Some demonstrators told N1 they suspected authorities of organising hooligans to provoke incidents by provoking the police.
Vuk Jeremic, an opposition leader, charged that the authorities sent hooligans to make unrest.
They all say the riot suits the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and its leader Vucic to portray people's dissatisfaction with their handling the coronavirus epidemic like the opposition's attempt to grab power without elections and that they have support from abroad.
A political analyst Vuk Velebit, told N1 that "unlike last night, we have organised groups of hooligans who are provoking conflicts with the police."
During the protest, Bosko Obradovic, one of Serbia's opposition leaders, was among those who received few blows by the police.
Earlier, another opposition leader, Sergej Trifunovic, was attacked by a group of protesters, or those pretending to be a part of demonstrators, who called him a traitor for taking part in the June 21 general elections, despite saying he would not.
He suffered several blows, one of which into his head.
In the meantime, protesters rallied in the northern city of Novi sad and southern city of Nis, where several thousand people joined demonstrations and N1 reporters confirmed incidents there as well.
Later, demonstrations started in the central city of Kragujevac, where protesters broke windows on the local police station building and threw a torch inside. The police have immediately reacted.
Tensions raised in Novi Sad when demonstrators threw stones on the City House. Riot police fired something like teargas, reacting to things the protesters threw at them.
Two young men were arrested. Later, the protest calmed down, with demonstrators sitting in the square facing a police cordon.
Like on Tuesday, the mostly young men, threw stones, bottles, firecrackers and torches on the riot police who responded with teargas in Belgarde. They set ablaze several garbage bins in the city's centre.
Unlike on Tuesday, much many police officers were dispersing demonstrators who were using side streets and changing positions, dragging police around the Belgrade centre.N1 reporters witnessed Gendarms using buttons on people who fell on each other, fleeing a massive amount of teargas.
Some people were lying on the ground either hurt or having problems with breathing due to teargas.
On several points in the capital, the police were trying to control the angry crowd, while letting those with religious insignia pass them.
On others, N1 reporters said the police did not react to the throwing stones but seemed ready to intervene.
In the meantime, the police seemed to have encircled the most aggressive crowd and included the special anti-terrorist unit (SAJ) in the operation.