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Thousands join renewed protests in Belgrade

People hold a banner that reads:

People hold a banner that reads: "Don't let Belgrade d(r)own" during an anti-government protest in Belgrade, Serbia, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017. Several thousand people have joined renewed protests in Belgrade over last year’s shady demolitions in a popular city area marked for a United Arab Emirates-financed real estate project, and are demanding the resignation of Belgrade mayor Sinisa Mali. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic).

BELGRADE, Serbia — Several thousand people have joined renewed protests in Belgrade over the shady demolition last year in an area marked for a United Arab Emirates-financed real estate project.

No one has been held responsible for the nighttime destruction last April of a block of houses by a group of masked men despite repeated promises to the contrary by the government.

Carrying anti-government banners and blowing whistles, protesters marched Wednesday through central Belgrade blocking traffic. Participants have demanded the resignation of mayor Sinisa Mali.

UAE investors have been building a Dubai-style business and residential complex in the run-down urban area by the Sava River.

Some architects and citizens' groups have sharply criticized the Belgrade waterfront plan, alleging corruption and saying the development is unsuitable for the Serbian capital.

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