13 July 2007

Serbs protest against Kosovo independence

UPI, Feb. 27, 2007


BELGRADE, Serbia, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Thousands of Serbs rallied Tuesday in Belgrade in protest of a U.N. plan on the future status of Serbia's mainly ethnic-Albanian Kosovo province.


Protesters staged a rally outside the U.S. Embassy in downtown Belgrade and a group of Kosovo Serbs had a 45-minute talk with U.S. diplomats, complaining the draft plan would lead Kosovo to independence from Serbia, Belgrade's B92 radio said.


The rally was aimed at telling the world Serbia will never accept Kosovo being independent of Belgrade, organizers said.


Belgrade police estimated some 40,000 people blocked the streets around the embassy, while the Serbian RTS radio-television put the number of protesters at 20,000. Belgrade's B92 radio put the number at 15,000.


Banners displayed on a stage across the street of the embassy said "Russia, help us," and "Kosovo is the heart of Serbia."


The rally lasted for about two hours and ended without incident, RTS said.