Protests Erupt in Macedonia after 'Ethnic' Murder

World | May 20, 2014, Tuesday // 14:58

Hundreds of Macedonians protested in the streets of Skopje on Monday after a high school graduate was stabbed to death in a suburb of the capital.

The accident took place when the teenager, born in 1995, and his father chased a man who had stolen his bicycle, according to Macedonia's daily Dnevnik.

After the suspect's name, Naser E., was announced by police and it was known he is of Albanian origin, a crowd of ethnic Macedonians flocked to the streets.

Garbage containers were overturned and shop and restaurant windows broken along the Gjorce Petrov suburb, where the accident took place.

Further escalation was prevented by police forces, which, as reports suggest, barred demonstrators from entering the Albanian-populated Saraj area neighboring Gjorce Petrov.

Occasional demonstrations took place in the streets of Skopje in 2012 and 2013 over deeds that some Macedonians considered to be crimes "on an ethnic basis".

An armed conflict erupted in 2001 between Macedonian security forces and ethnic Albanian insurgents, but a peace deal granting more rights to the minority put an end to violence.

About 25% of Macedonia's population are ethnic Albanians, while 63% describe themselves as Macedonians, according to the latest census. Some reports, however, have suggested the real number of Albanians could go far beyond the official one.

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Tags: macedonia, Gjorce Petrov, Macedonian, Albanians, Skopje
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