Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Several Destructive Incidents Occur in FYROM; Muslims Angry Christians Wore Masks at Carnival

The Balkan Insight website reports today (January 31, 2012) that arsonists last night set ablaze a Greek Orthodox Church near the city of Struga in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in the latest in a series of ethnic and faith-related incidents in the area.

Firefighters fought until midnight to douse the fire at St. Nicholas Church in the ethnically mixed village of Labunishta near Struga. Police today said the 200-year-old church was saved, but nearby facilities -- including the parish dining hall -- burned to the ground.

The recent trouble between FYROM's Christians and Muslims goes back to January 14 at the annual carnival in Vevcani, where Orthodox Christians wore masks supposedly representing Muslim believers, including women in burqas.

The masks -- deemed insulting to Muslims -- have sparked several destructive incidents in FYROM since January 14, including last night's church fire, the burning of a FYROM flag, and the stoning of a bus.