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Serbia police charge 80 in embassy attacks during Kosovo protest

[JURIST] Serbian police filed criminal charges Friday against 80 people allegedly involved in attacks on the US and other embassies [JURIST report] in Belgrade during protests last week over US support of independence for Kosovo [JURIST news archive]. The protesters were charged with hooliganism, theft and resisting arrest, charges which could carry sentences of four to six years in prison. Serbia's chief prosecutor Slobodan Radovanovic said Saturday that Serbia is actively searching for the rioters [JURIST report], noting that Serbian police had already arrested over 200 people. The Serbian government has condemned the attacks on diplomatic missions as isolated acts of vandalism. AP has more.

Serbian demonstrators set fire to the US Embassy in Belgrade [official website] last Thursday after a massive street demonstration that drew an estimated 150,000 people to protest Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence [text; JURIST report] earlier this month. The United States has formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state [JURIST report], despite strong opposition from both the Serbian government and minority Kosovo Serbs.

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