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Thursday, March 25, 1999 Published at 18:53 GMT

World: Europe

Rioters target US embassy

Cars were set alight as rioters turned violent

Protesters threw firebombs at the American embassy in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as a demonstration turned into a riot.

Kosovo: Special Report
More than 2,000 people chanting "Nato out of Macedonia" threw stones, broke windows and hurled gasoline bombs at the embassy in Skopje.

They were protesting at allied air attacks on Serbian targets in the Kosovo crisis and carried anti-war banners.

Three cars were burned as some of the protesters tried to storm the US building.

They dispersed peacefully after riot police arrived and a fire truck extinguished the blaze.

Anger at Nato presence

Paul Wood in Macedonia: "Chaos on the streets"
Earlier, the demonstrators marched to a hotel housing officials from the Kosovo verification mission of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which has left Kosovo.

[ image: Demonstrators hurled stones in the riot]
Demonstrators hurled stones in the riot
The demonstrators, waving the flags of Yugoslavia and pre-independence Macedonia, damaged a number of OSCE vehicles.

About 12,000 Nato troops are based in Macedonia. The special Nato force has been deployed there for weeks in case it needed to extract the OSCE mission from Kosovo.

Macedonia, which borders Kosovo, achieved independence from Yugoslavia in 1993, but there are still many nationalists and members of the Serb minority sympathetic to Yugoslavia.

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