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Yugoslavia: Opposition Rally Underway In Belgrade

Belgrade, 15 May 2000 (RFE/RL) - Thousands of opposition supporters turned out in central Belgrade today for a protest rally against the government of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. The opposition called the demonstration after canceling a protest last week in Pozarevac, Milosevic's hometown. The police intervened to prevent people gathering in Pozarevac, but there is no word so far of police interference with today's rally. Correspondents say, however, that the initial crowd, estimated at 15,000, is considerably smaller than the turnout for a similar rally in the capital last month.

Earlier, opposition leaders urged supporters to attend today's rally despite threats of arrest by the Yugoslav government. Opposition leader Vladan Batic said Serbian citizens must view the rally as the struggle for survival, freedom, and democracy.

Tension is high because government leaders blamed the opposition and a student anti-government group for the weekend slaying of a top official.