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Yugoslavia: Security Tightens In Belgrade Before Pro-Milosevic Rally

Belgrade, 23 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Security is being tightened around the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade, a day ahead of a rally planned by supporters of President Slobodan Milosevic.

The Associated Press reports a bus deposited hundreds of riot police in the city center amid fears that Milosevic's supporters could clash with his opponents who have been protesting the annulment of some municipal elections for more than a month.

The state-run Tanjug news agency announced the rally and invited all those who are, in its words, "for peace, freedom, independent Serbia and against terrorism and foreign rule," to take part. AP says independent Belgrade newspapers expect up to 400,000 Milosevic supporters to be bused in for the rally.

Milosevic's opponents appealed to their backers to remain calm, claiming the Serbian president has no popular support.

Opposition leader Zoran Djindjic said Milosevic only had behind him "a destroyed country and a few Communist non-Christians."