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Breaking News

Belgrade Police Offer Little Opposition to Protesters

Aired October 5, 2000 - 2:55 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: One more check of the extraordinary events that have folding for the past several hours in Belgrade, where tens of thousands, possibly more than 100,000 demonstrators stormed the Parliament building and demanded the resignation of Slobodan Milosevic.

They first stormed the building, met with riot police who fended them off with tear gas but little more. They didn't use any of their other weapons in that initial attempt to takeover the parliament building. Later some of the demonstrators were seen inside the building waving flags and stirring the crowds below into more protests, part of which included the burning of state television, which is now off the air.

The opposition is trying to restore that to get the news of what's happening in downtown Belgrade out to the outer reaches of Serbia. The police not resisting as much people had imagined they would has stunned the opposition. The opposition leader just a short while ago commented on today's events.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ZARKO KORAC, YUGOSLAV OPPOSITION LEADER: What we have now in Belgrade is a complete collapse of police. However, we were really surprised that police didn't use force, and the police didn't shoot at us, and basically the police in Belgrade simply collapsed and Milosevic does not have police at his disposal.

Now there's a very large group of people going for a TV studio on the outskirts of Belgrade right now. There's several thousand people are going there. Once we have hold of that, we'll have a state television under our control and there are now a group of people negotiating with heads of police in Serbia and some are trying to reach the heads of the army.

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN BELGRADE BUREAU CHIEF: How much are you able to speak to those head of security, the head of police, the head of the army? How much are you in contact with them right now?

KORAC: I think the police chiefs are in no position to do anything because even I was amazed that the police would collapse this way. And I can tell you that right now we have groups of police in opposition party headquarters. They just simply came there and said, we are giving up. We don't want to serve the regime that essentially stole our vote.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WATERS: Zarko Korac, opposition leader, in an interview with Alessio Vinci, our Belgrade bureau chief less than an hour ago. The story continues to unfold. We are still waiting to see the results of opposition contact with the army, whether or not there can be any agreement reached there, the restoration of the public media, in Belgrade, whether that will happen.

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