Serbian Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin told the pro-government Pink TV that the protesters are “fascists” who should be severely punished.
This was the first major incident after months of peaceful protests against populist leader Vucic. The demonstrators are demanding his resignation, free elections and media, and more democracy. The protests began after thugs beat up an opposition politician in November. A former extreme nationalist, Vucic has said he wants to lead Serbia into the European Union.
Some 10,000 others also demonstrated on Saturday against long-serving Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic in the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica.
Djukanovic and his party have ruled Montenegro virtually unchallenged for three decades. He led the country to independence from much larger Serbia in 2006 and defied Russia to join NATO in 2017.