Five people were injured in two violent altercations in a Serb-majority community near Knin on Wednesday that appear to be ethnically motivated.
Prime Minister Andrej Plenković condemned the incidents on Thursday, saying that they were the work of individuals and did not reflect the broader social climate.
“I condemn the attack in Knin, this is very bad,” Plenković said when asked about it by reporters at a diplomatic conference he was attending in Zagreb.
Masked individuals vandalized two cafes in the area on Wednesday evening, breaking property and attacking patrons who were watching a Red Star Belgrade football game at the time. Five people were injured, including a child, age 9, who is being treated at a local hospital.
Police have since arrested several suspects in connection with the case.
The Prime Minister said his government was working on lessening the divisions in Croatian society, reducing intolerance, and fighting the forces that want to inflame tensions. He said he had spoken to Interior Minister Davor Božinović about the incidents and that he expected police to identify the attackers.
“There will always be deviants. God forbid that this was the norm! That would be very worrisome for Croatia. That’s why I say that minorities should be part of the parliamentary majority in Croatia, so that they can make sure that their rights are being respected. That’s not an issue for the majority ethnic group, but a benefit. If we respect the rights of minorities, it will be easier for us to fight for the rights of our minorities in those countries,” Plenković said.
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