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A gay rights march in Croatia's Adriatic port of Split has ended without incident.

The march, attended by several hundred people, took place under heavy police guard and was seen as a test of tolerance in the EU-bound nation.

The marchers, with placards saying "Gay is OK," were joined by five ministers, including those for interior and foreign affairs, as well as foreign diplomats and prominent Croatian intellectuals.

Croatian authorities have pledged to secure the event as a sign of determination to protect human rights ahead of joining the European Union in 2013.

The first Gay Pride parade last June in Split was marred by violence as some opponents pelted marchers with stones and bottles.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP
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