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Serbs set fire to US Belgrade embassy in Kosovo protest

[JURIST] Serbian demonstrators set fire to the US Embassy in Belgrade [official website] Thursday after a massive street demonstration that drew an estimated 150,000 people to protest Kosovo's weekend unilateral declaration of independence [text; JURIST report]. The United States formally recognized Kosovo as a sovereign state [JURIST report] on Monday, despite strong opposition from both the Serbian government and minority Kosovo Serbs. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, but an Embassy spokesperson said that a burned body, apparently a protester, was discovered inside the building. Demonstrators also attacked the nearby Croatian Embassy and pelted the Canadian Embassy [official website] across the street with rocks. Canada has not yet announced its decision on recognition.

Great Britain, France, and Germany also recognized Kosovo's independence Monday, but Spain, Slovakia, Greece, Cyprus, and Romania have said they will not endorse the new state. The Serbian government, which immediately denounced the unilateral declaration as illegal [press release], said Monday it would never recognize Kosovo as an independent entity. The Serbian Interior Ministry has also filed treason charges [JURIST report] against Kosovo's prime minister, president and speaker of parliament for their roles in organizing the declaration of independence. AP has more. CBC News has additional coverage.

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