Serbian Police Let March Begin

From Associated Press

After a standoff that lasted into the early morning, police backed down today and allowed tens of thousands of students to march through Belgrade in opposition to Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic.

Supporters waved from balconies and windows, greeting the students after they made good on their vow to no longer retreat before Milosevic's riot police.

Students and opposition followers have demonstrated for 53 straight days in protest of Milosevic's annulment of local elections won by the opposition.

In recent days, heavily armed riot police have blocked the marches that accompany the rallies.

About 30,000 students gathered Thursday afternoon, pledging to stay in the capital's center until police allowed them through. Well after midnight Thursday, police finally retreated to their cars, and the students marched.

Their celebration was marred when a government supporter drove into the marchers, injuring four or five of them. The protesters beat the driver before police arrested him and took him away.

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