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attack targeting eight students of the Serbian Orthodox Church seminary

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.b92.net//eng/news/region-article.php?yyyy=2013&mm=03&dd=18&nav_id=85231 March 18, 2013 | 16:39 Croatian PM accuses right-wing of spreading pure
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      http://www.b92.net//eng/news/region-article.php?yyyy=2013&mm=03&dd=18&nav_id=85231

      March 18, 2013 | 16:39
      Croatian PM accuses right-wing of spreading "pure hatred"
      Source: Tanjug, Jutarnji.hr

      ZAGREB -- Croatian PM Zoran Milanović on Monday condemned an attack
      targeting eight students of the Serbian Orthodox Church seminary in
      Kistanje near Knin.

      The attackers were ethnic Croats from the village of Janjevo in Kosovo,
      who had relocated to Croatia.

      Six of the eight Serb students were injured in the attack that took
      place over the weekend.

      Reacting to the incident, Milanović said that "serious things have been
      happening in Croatia", and accused the country's right-wing parties of
      spreading "pure and distilled" hatred.

      "People in black shirts - we don't know who they are or where they come
      from - are speaking on television," the prime minister told a news
      conference in Zagreb.

      He also criticized the media, singling out the public broadcaster HRT
      for referring to "the children" who attacked the students as "Janjevci"
      (Janjevo residents).

      "They were attacked by children, who in fact had attacked other
      children. Those children who attacked other children were appropriately
      politically correctly referred to in the HRT news bulletin as -
      Janjevci! That's the vocabulary of HRT! Instead of, 'minors of Croat
      ethnicity', it was - Janjevci. Well - should we be surprised that things
      like this happen?," Milanović asked.

      He went on to tell reporters that he, "unlike some others", does not
      have "his own media", and added that he "couldn't care less" how his
      statements made today would be reported. "This time I will be direct,"
      the Croatian prime minister said, and added:

      "My colleagues in parliament are being referred to as Chetniks. We will
      not allow that. Some 250,000 citizens of this country rebelled during
      the war, but they now respect our constitution and for them Croatian
      citizenship is not questionable."

      Milanović then said that it was "disgraceful" that nobody had reacted to
      a statement made by Ruža Tomašić of the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP),
      which he described as "even worse" that what Zagreb's Dinamo Football
      Club Director Željko Mamić said recently.

      While Mamić stated that "a Serb cannot head the sports department in
      Croatia", Tomašić asserted that "Croatia is for Croats, everybody else
      is a guest".

      "I decided to make my address despite my PR experts expressly warning me
      against it, they even wrote something for me here, but I'm not reading
      that! I do not wish to do it that way!," Milanović told the news
      conference, and concluded:

      "We will have to learn some new rules, at least as far as I'm concerned.
      I did not come here to keep silent! I came to act and to speak."

      The incident in Kistanje also provoked a reaction from Croatia's
      opposition HDZ party, which issued a statement saying that the seminary
      students "themselves provoked the attack", and described them as "being
      known from before for their provocations".

      The statement added that the party "condemned all forms of violence,
      among others those perpetrated in obvious self-defense", as well as that
      a conflict "required the participation of those in the role of
      attackers, not just the victims of a pre-planned clash".

      The local media in nearby Šibenik also quoted HDZ head in Kistanje and
      municipal councilor Rok Antić, who said that "everything happened
      because the Krka Monastery is the hotbed of Chetniks in Croatia".
      Attackers to be apprehended

      The Croatian police investigated the scene of the attack, and identified
      the perpetrators, who will be indicted, it has been announced.

      It was said on Monday that they would be brought in for questioning
      "during the day".

      The incident happened on the road between Kistanje and the Orthodox
      monastery of Krka at around 01:00 CET on Sunday, the police stated.

      A number of minors attacked eight students of the seminary, at first
      verbally and then physically. Six were injured, one sustained serious
      injuries.

      Head of the Šibenik-Knin police department Ivica Kostanić confirmed the
      incident for a Croatian TV station, stressing that the police had
      investigated the scene and found the culprits, and that there would be a
      complete report later, considering the seriousness of one of the injuries.

      The seminary condemned the incident in a release, stating that it was
      unprovoked.

      "This brutal attack on Krka seminary students has harmed the safety and
      normal work of our seminary. The motive for this incident can only be
      and is religious and national hatred," the statement says, adding that
      the seminary expects the authorities to arrest and punish the culprits
      appropriately.

      The Association of Serbs from Croatia and the Association of Refugees
      and other associations of Serbs from Croatia condemned on Monday the attack.

      The associations said that the reason for this act of vandalism was hate
      speech, which had escalated in Croatia lately caused by the ninth
      anniversary of the pogrom against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija.

      They noted that the attack on the students of the Monastery Krka
      seminary was yet another attack on monks, students and facilities of the
      Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) in the area of the Diocese of Dalmatia.

      "It is particularly worrying that none of the attackers has been found,
      and tried and sentenced by the Croatian judiciary," it was underlined.

      “The attack on students of the Krka Monastery is yet another indicator
      of the position of Serbs in Croatia, and the extent to which their
      safety is jeopardized,” the statement reads.
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