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Macedonian Police Clash With Ethnic Albanians Protesters

  • RFE/RL

Police in Macedonia have clashed with protesters demonstrating against the jailing of six ethnic Albanians for murder and terrorism.

A RFE/RL correspondent who was at the scene said several thousand demonstrators pelted police with rocks in the capital Skopje on July 4.

Police responded by firing teargas, stun grenades, and water cannon. Several policemen and protesters were wounded.

The ethnic Albanian protesters were angry at the life sentences handed down for the murder of five Macedonians during the Orthodox Easter in 2012. The protesters called the convictions politically motivated.

The defendants were described by authorities as Islamists and were charged with terrorism and accused of trying to provoke ethnic tensions.

Ethnic Albanians, most of them Muslims, make up around a quarter of Macedonia's two million population, and say they are discriminated against.

With reporting from Reuters
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