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Sarajevo rally ends as protesters are released

Demonstrators disband after learning of the release of protesters in the Bosnian capital.

09.02.2014
Sarajevo rally ends as protesters are released

SARAJEVO, Bosnia

Protesters that have been gathering in front of the Presidential office in Sarajevo have ended their rally peacefully on Sunday, after learning of the release of their fellow protesters.

A series of protests that began earlier this week at the Tuzla Canton, in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), have turned into nationwide rallies, dubbed the "Bosnian Spring" by local media.

Started by disgruntled public workers who claim they have been deprived of their social rights and benefits, the protests have seen the arrests of 200 hundred people, while 300 have been injured and 17 public buildings set ablaze.

On Sunday, protesters shouted out to the presidential guards, calling on them to take off their helmets and "come over to our side." They applauded as the guards removed their riot protection helmets.

Administrators in a number of member states, including Tuzla, have resigned over the protests. The last resignation came on Sunday from the BiH police Coordination Chief Himzo Selimovic.

Earlier in the day, the President of the Republika Srpska (RS) Milorad Dodik, said that the Bosnian entity - the Federation of BiH - was "sliding towards disintegration".

He claimed the "chaos environment was still ongoing", pledging not to allow it to spill over to the RS.

Tuzla witnessed a massacre by the RS army that killed 71 people and wounded over 200 by artillery fire in May 1995 during the Bosnian War. The city of Sarajevo pressed charges in 2009 against Dodik, then prime minister, for saying the massacre was staged.

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