Accessibility links

Moldovan Police Clash With Protesters On Independence Day

Moldovan police have fired tear gas to disperse antigovernment protesters during a parade to mark the former Soviet republic's independence day.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered on August 27 near the main square of Chisinau, Moldova's capital.

Many shouted "Thieves!" and "Shame on you!" as President Nicolae Timofti and other officials laid floral wreaths at a monument honoring Stephen the Great, a 15th century Moldovan hero.

Few citizens were permitted to enter the square amid heavy police security. No injuries from the clashes were reported.

Underlining tensions, Timofti said in a speech earlier on August 27 that Moldova's independence and security were undermined by the presence of "foreign military forces that are on the country's territory against the wishes of the population."

He was referring to the presence of 1,000 Russian peacekeepers in the pro-Russian separatist enclave of Transdniester in eastern Moldova.

Moldova, sandwiched between Romania and Ukraine, declared independence on August 27, 1991, as the Soviet Union collapsed.

Based on reporting by Interfax and AP