State Department Urges Protection For U.S. Embassy In Belgrade

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Police in Belgrade have secured the U.S. Embassy and the surrounding area, after rioters broke in and set fire to an office inside the embassy.

Police clashed with protesters outside other embassy buildings, after a protest by about 150,000 people in the Serbian capital.

The protesters are angry over Kosovo’s declaration of independence, which has been embraced by the U.S. and other countries.

Masked men broke into the U.S. compound, which has been closed this week, and tried to throw furniture from an office. They set fire to the office, and flames shot up the side of the building. Firefighters arrived immediately and put out the blaze.

The neighboring Croatian Embassy was also targeted.

The U.S. State Department is calling on the Serbian government to protect the embassy. A spokesman says the U.S. ambassador is in contact with U.S. officials from his home.