SERBIA has demanded an investigation after Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic was attacked at the 20th anniversary commemoration of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia on Saturday.
Mr Vucic was forced to flee as a crowd of protesters climbed over barricades and pelted him with stones and bottles, chanting: “Kill, kill” and “Allahu akbar.”
Bodyguards protected the prime minister with umbrellas, bags and raised arms as they rushed to an armoured vehicle.
Mr Vukic, whose glasses were broken when a stone hit him in the face, said the incident was premeditated, blaming football hooligans for the violence.
“We were attacked from all sides. It was well organised and prepared,” he said. “I heard Muslim people telling the attackers: ‘Why are you attacking him? It is not his fault. He had not done anything here’.”
A Serbian diplomatic communique accused the protesters of trying to assassinate Mr Vukic.
“Serbia’s Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic has shown by his presence the readiness to bow his head to Srebrenica victims and stepped forward to improve relations both with the region and the whole country,” it read.
“We expect public condemnation from officials of Bosnia and Herzegovina of Serbia’s prime minister’s attempted assassination.”
Although the crowd booed Mr Vucic’s arrival, some Srebrenica widows and mothers welcomed his presence.
“Only on truth we can build a future. You cannot deny the truth,” Kada Hotic, who lost her son and husband in the massacre, told Mr Vucic before the ceremony.
The Muslim Bosniak Mayor of Srebrenica Camil Durakovic apologised to Mr Vucic, saying he was “deeply disappointed” by the attack.