Serbia: Tourist bus stoned in Muslim-majority Sandzak region

Beograd/Podgorica, 16 August (AKI) - Youths stoned a tourist bus in Serbia's Muslim majority southwest province of Sandzak, according to reports on Monday. The bus, carrying tourists from a vacation in neighbouring Montenegro, was driving into Sandzak's largest town of Novi Pazar when the attack took place.

None of the passengers was hurt when the vehicle was pelted with stones, breaking its windscreen, Serbia's B52 channel quoted a spokeswoman for the the bus company, Nis Express, as saying.

The incident took place early on Sunday and police have detained several suspects, she said.

A local politician from Sandzak, Dzemail Suljevic, last week called for autonomy for the region and in more towns in central Serbia, sparking reactions from Serbia and Montenegro.

Sandzak stretches from the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina to Kosovo over an area of 8,403 square kilometers. Six of its municipalities of are in Serbia and five in Montenegro.

Belgrade's daily Vecernje novosti on Monday reported that the idea of giving Sandzak more autonomy came from mufti Muamer Zukorlic, known for his resistance towards the official Serbian Islamic Community (IZS)

Zukorlic does not recognize IZS as representing Sandzak Muslims and looks instead to the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo.

"Zukorlic's stories are dangerious fairy tales," said Meho Omerovic, an MP for Serbia's Socialdemocratic Party of Serbia, which originated in Sandzak.

"The people of Sandzak does not support Zukorlic's and Suljevic's dreams", Omerovic says.

Vecernje novosti quoted one of Montenegro's opposition leaders, Predrag Bulatovic, as saying: "The initiative is an attack to integrity of both states."


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