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Croatia: Tensions during remembrance march

November 18, 2013

VUKOVAR, Croatia (AP) — Croat nationalists have prevented government officials from joining a march honoring the anniversary of the fall of Vukovar, eastern Croatia’s town that was destroyed by the Serb-led army troops during the country’s 1991-95 war for independence.

Tens of thousands of people on Monday joined the march organized by Vukovar’s nationalist leaders and war veterans. Participants, however, prevented government officials, church leaders and diplomats to join their procession, forcing them to pay their respect at another venue.

Local officials in Vukovar have been protesting efforts by the government to boost Serb minority rights in the city. Nationalists have taken down plaques in Serb Cyrillic alphabet, saying they presented an insult to the town’s war victims.

Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union in July.