Thousands gather to say farewell to Milosevic

March 18, 2006 12:47


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Tens of thousands of mourners packed a square in front of Belgrade's federal parliament building Saturday to bid a final farewell to Slobodan Milosevic, who died while on UN trial for some of Europe's worst atrocities since World War II. A crowd estimated by authorities at around 40,000 people, many clutching photographs of the late Serbian leader and shouting "Slobo! Slobo!" - gathered around a large, red-carpeted outdoor stage where Milosevic's coffin lay on a bier draped in a burgundy cloth. Many wept uncontrollably as a death march blared from loudspeakers. About 200 supporters rushed the stage in a scramble to get closer to the coffin before they were restrained by security guards. As the crowd became restless, authorities deployed about 350 extra police officers, and dozens of helmeted riot police took up precautionary positions around the square.

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