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Macedonia Hands Nine Suspended Sentences For Bloody Rampage In Parliament

All of the accused pleaded guilty to charges of entering Macedonia's parliament by force and fighting with security officials

Nine people were given suspended sentences by a Macedonian court on May 23 for their part in a rampage at the Balkan nation's parliament last month that left several politicians battered and bloodied.

The court in the capital, Skopje, handed down suspended sentences ranging from six months to one year to the nine people, all of whom pleaded guilty to charges of entering parliament by force and fighting with security officials.

The angry invasion of the parliament on April 27, which included masked men, resulted in dozens of journalists and lawmakers being injured, including Social Democratic Union leader Zoran Zaev.

Zaev is now attempting to form a government and become Macedonia's prime minister after he received a mandate from President Gjorge Ivanov, who had previously refused to do so.

The attack on parliament came after the appointment of an ethnic Albanian, Talat Xhaferi, as parliament speaker.

WATCH: Macedonian Protesters Storm Parliament, Beat Party Leader

On May 20, the Interior Ministry suspended 16 police officers for their failure to prevent the violent storming of the parliament building by nationalist protesters.

The attack was seen as a blow for the country's aspirations to join both NATO and the EU.

Nationalists were upset by demands made by the ethnic Albanian parties that were negotiating to form a government with the Social Democrats, including making Albanian a second state language.

About 25 percent of Macedonia's 2 million citizens are ethnic Albanians.

With reporting by AFP