Hundreds Protest in Skopje after Lakeside MurdersWorld | April 17, 2012, Tuesday // 11:33| views
Riot police clash with stone-throwing demonstraters in Skopje, the capital of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, on 16 April 2012. EPA/BGNES
Some 1 000 Macedonians gathered in the capital Skopje late on Monday to protest in the wake of the brutal murder of five Macedonian men last week.
Several protesters, mostly youngsters, were arrested after they threw rocks at police officers, and shouted nationalistic and anti-Albanian slogans, B92 informs.
Late Thursday, the bodies of four young men, aged 18 to 20, as well as that of a 45-year-old local man, all of ethnic Slavic origin, were found near a lake in the vicinity of Macedonian capital Skopje. The tragic event took place on the eve of Orthodox Easter holidays
The murders sparked fears that a simmering conflict between Slavic and Albanian Macedonian citizens could re-ignite.
Tensions in Macedonia have been simmering since the end of an armed rebellion in 2001, when ethnic Albanian rebels fought Macedonian government forces for about eight months, seeking greater rights for their community. The conflict left 80 people dead, and ended with the intervention of NATO troops.
Meanwhile, media reports emerged that there may have been a surviving witness to last week's brutal murders. According to Vecernie Novosti, the killers may have "overlooked" the presence of a witness, who is now believed to be providing investigators with valuable assistance.
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