Protesters and police clashed violently in Belgrade on Tuesday evening amid anger over the return of strict lockdown measures to tackle coronavirus. Earlier on Tuesday a weekend curfew was announced after a rise in Covid-19 cases in Serbia and across the western Balkans.
A group of protesters stormed the parliament in Belgrade, and police responded with teargas and a show of force. A police spokesperson said protesters threw rocks, bottles and other objects at officers and set five police vehicles on fire. Police said 23 people were detained and 43 police officers were injured. Seventeen demonstrators also sustained injuries.
On Tuesday Serbia recorded 13 more coronavirus deaths, its highest daily toll to date, as well as 299 newly recorded infections.
“Nobody can endure these numbers. We don’t want to kill our doctors,” said the president, Aleksandar Vučić, announcing the strict weekend curfew. He said a government body would decide whether it should apply nationwide or only to the capital.