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Thousands turn out for second day of Bosnian anti-government protests

Thousands turn out for second day of Bosnian anti-government protests
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Dozens were injured as clashes in the Bosnian town of Tuzla ran into a second day on Thursday.

Sparked by the closure of factories and firms in the northern town, the thousands-strong protests reflect resentment at the deepening economic and social problems in the country.

At 27.5 percent, Bosnia’s unemployment rate is the highest in the Balkans.

Demonstrators lobbed stones, eggs and flares at government headquarters, claiming authorities have stood by idly as several former state companies collapsed under privatisation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people turned out in solidarity in the country’s capital Sarajevo, where protesters fought with police and also defaced government premises.

Police have now been given the green light to use force to stop the vandalism.

“The police will use all means at their disposal to prevent vandalism and protect citizens and public property,” police spokesperson, Izudin Saric, said.

Hana Obradovic, an unemployed philosophy and political science graduate took part in the rally.

“Our government sold state companies for peanuts, leaving people without their pensions or social security,” she said. “Their families have nothing to eat, while our politicians sit in these institutions and steal from people.”

The Tuzla protesters are made up largely of workers who were laid off when state-owned companies were sold then collapsed under privatisation.