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Montenegrin Police Say 20 Officers Injured at Protests Against Top Cleric's Inauguration

© REUTERS / STEVO VASILJEVICPolice officers detain a man during a protest against the enthronement of Bishop Joanikije in Cetinje, Montenegro
Police officers detain a man during a protest against the enthronement of Bishop Joanikije in Cetinje, Montenegro - Sputnik International, 1920, 05.09.2021
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BELGRADE (Sputnik) - Twenty law enforcement officers have sustained injuries during the protests against the enthronement of the new metropolitan bishop of the Montenegro and the Littoral diocese, a part of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC), the Montenegrin police said on Sunday.
"According to the incoming information, 20 police officers have been injured," Dragan Gorovic, the assistant police chief, said, as quoted by the RTCG public broadcaster.
The official noted that the police were in contact with all of Cetinje's medical services but did not yet have information about potential civilian casualties. At the same, Gorovic stressed that the situation in the city was calm at the moment.
Earlier in the day, the police used tear gas and flashbang grenades against people who had blocked the path to the country's old capital of Cetinje and gathered at the city square. The initial reports about the incidents listed four people receiving minor injuries. Later, the police said that eight protesters had been arrested and two officers had been injured.
Bishop Joanikije was ordained at the Cetinje Monastery earlier today by Serbian Patriarch Porfirije. The country's nationalists, however, mounted protests against the inauguration because they view SOC priests as Serbian agents of influence. Due to the scale of the civil unrest, both clerics had to be airlifted to the monastery by helicopter. The monastery itself was cordoned off by anti-terrorism officers with firearms.
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