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Serbian police clash with far-right protestors attempting to stop gay pride parade

Police in Serbia briefly clashed with far-right supporters who tried to prevent a gay pride parade attended by the country's openly gay prime minister today.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and her partner joined several hundred activists in the annual march through downtown Belgrade. The centre of the capital was sealed off by police during the event.

Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic, left, and her partner Milica Djurdjic. Source: Associated Press

Hours before the march, around 150 far-right supporters gathered in protest. Some held Orthodox Christian banners and crosses and sang religious songs, and some were dressed as Orthodox monks.

At least five protesters were taken away by police after they refused to move from the route of the march that ended without any major incident.

Brnabic is the first openly gay prime minister in the traditionally conservative Balkan state.

"Today we are sending a message of tolerance which has to be preserved in Serbia," Brnabic said. "I think we are heading in the right direction."

Brnabic, however, is not very popular among many in the gay community in the capital because they say she has done little to promote their rights since she came to power in 2017.

A banner reading "Prime minister, how is it living with all those privileges?" greeted her as she joined the march.

The first pride parade in Belgrade was organised in 2001 and participants were attacked by hooligans and ultranationalist groups. Since 2014, the marches have occurred without major incidents.

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The Serbian Prime Minister, who is openly gay, joined the pride march. Source: 1 NEWS