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France condemns Serbian prime minister attack at Srebrenica

A security officer tries to protect Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic with an umbrella as he is stoned at Srebrenica Reuters/Antonio Bronic

France has condemned a stone-throwing attack by an angry mob that forced Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic to flee a ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia on Saturday.

"France condemns the incidents which tarnished the Srebrenica ceremonies," French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement Saturday.

"This date should be an occasion for working for rapprochement and harmony and not reopening the wounds of the past," he continued, calling on the governments of the region to "turn to the future".

Bosnia's presidency also condemned the incident, praising the Serbian premier's attendance and calling for a swift probe to identify the perpetrators of the attack.

Vucic, one of several dignitaries attending the ceremony to mark the massacre of some 6,200 Bosnian Muslims men and boys, was hit on the mouth when some of the crowd shouted "Allah Akbar!3 (God is great!) and pelted him with stones.

Some tried to physically assault him.

He was not injured but Belgrade called the incident an assassination attempt and demanded Bosnia condemn it.

The incident was regrettable bit not altogether surprising, Mohamed Sacirbey, Bosnia's first ambassador to the united Nations at the time of the massacre, told RFI.