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Macedonian President Calls For End To Interethnic Violence

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has urged citizens to avoid further violence after a series of interethnic clashes between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians.

Since last week, at least 14 people have been injured in clashes in Skopje and the Albanian-dominated northwestern town of Tetovo.

Ethnic Albanians make up about 25 percent of Macedonia's 2-million-strong population.

The clashes were the worst ethnic violence in the country since an armed conflict in 2001 between security forces and ethnic Albanian rebels.

Ivanov said Macedonia has "turned a new page" and vowed that "all those who use violence...will be punished."

The OSCE secretary-general, Lamberto Zannier, on a visit to Skopje on March 13, condemned the recent violence and welcomed the quick response of authorities.

With AFP reports