Police arrest Serbs suspected of attacking two Croatian diplomats

Police said Friday they had arrested four Serbs suspected of attacking two Croatian diplomats in the Serbian capital, slightly injuring one of them. The attack late Wednesday in the upmarket Senjak neighborhood of Belgrade occurred when the attackers approached the parked car containing the two diplomats, Branislav Loncar and Boris Herceg, police said.

Police said in a statement that two of attackers worked as security guards in a nearby private residence, while the other two were their friends.

The car had diplomatic plates identifying it as a vehicle of the Croatian Embassy. The attackers kicked and damaged the car, breaking the driver's window and striking Herceg, who was in the driver's seat, in the face, police said.

Loncar is deputy to Croatia's ambassador, and Herceg is the embassy's secretary.

Serbia-Montenegro's Foreign Ministry denounced the attack and Croatia lodged a formal protest to the Serbian authorities.

Ethnic tensions persist between citizens of Serbia and Croatia, who were bitter enemies in the Balkan war of the early 1990s as the former Yugoslavia broke up. Violence occasionally follows soccer matches, but Wednesday's attack was the first reported assault here on Croat diplomats, reports the AP. I.L.

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