February 26, 2008
|Demonstrators threw rocks at police as they tried to reach the embassy’s branch office — which was closed — and police responded with tear gas.|
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (CNN) — Hundreds of Bosnian-Serb demonstrators broke away from a peaceful rally in Banja Luka on Tuesday and headed for the U.S. Embassy’s office there, clashing with police along the way, a police spokesman said.
The errant demonstrators threw rocks at police as they tried to reach the embassy’s branch office — which was closed — and police responded with tear gas.
The protesters never reached the embassy’s office; adjacent streets had been closed in anticipation of the demonstration in Banja Luka, Bosnia’s second largest city.
Police said the violent demonstrators numbered about 600 or 700, and had broken away from a 100,000-strong rally of Bosnian Serbs protesting Kosovo’s recent declaration of independence.
Police arrested some demonstrators, although it was not clear how many.
Because the United States supports Kosovo’s independence, U.S. diplomatic missions in the region have been a target of protests since the Serbian province declared independence on February 17.