Croatia gay parade turns violent, over 100 arrested

by Reuters
Saturday, 11 June 2011 19:01 GMT

ZAGREB, June 11 (Reuters) - About a dozen people were hurt and more than 100 arrested on Saturday at a gay parade in the southern Adriatic city of Split, Crotian state television said.

Among those injured were four journalists, it said.

Hundreds of locals shouted insults and injuring several marchers by throwing bottles and stones, local media reported.

The parade of about 200 people in the centre of conservative Croatia's second biggest city, was the first outside the capital Zagreb and was overseen by police on the ground and a police helicopter. None of the parades in Zagreb, also held with a heavy police presence, has seen any violence.

"Events of this kind should be forbidden," an onlooker said.

Homosexual groups have long complained about hostility towards open expression of their sexual orientation.

Police had to escort the marchers from the main city promenade where they were blocked in by crowds of onlookers.

Croatia, a staunchly Roman Catholic country, is about to complete the European Union entry talks in the coming weeks and become a member in mid-2013. (Reporting by Igor Ilic; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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