NPR logo Serb Police Guard U.S. Embassy After Attack


Serb Police Guard U.S. Embassy After Attack

Police in Serbia guarded the U.S and other Western embassies on Friday, a day after they stood by as rioters smashed the gates of the American mission in Belgrade and set fire to part of the compound.

Meanwhile, pro-Western politicians in Serbia accused hard-liners in the government of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica of inciting the violence in order to demonstrate anger at Kosovo's declaration of independence on Sunday, which the U.S. is seen as supporting.

Cedomir Jovanovic, leader of the pro-Western Liberal Democratic Party, accused Kostunica of responsibility for the rioting, saying it represented the best illustration of his "abnormal policies."

His party said the rioting could be a prelude to a crackdown against liberals in the country.

Kosovo, which is 90 percent ethnic Albanian, has not been under Belgrade's control since 1999, when NATO launched airstrikes to halt a Serbian crackdown on separatists there. A U.N. mission has governed Kosovo since.

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