Soviet troops firing shots seized two Lithuanian customs posts, roughed up several workers and ordered the checkpoints shut permanently, a Lithuanian government spokesman said Monday.
In neighboring Latvia, several hundred police officers Monday jeered the republic's president and called for the resignation of their boss, Interior Minister Alois Vaznis.In another incident Sunday, a Soviet army captain wounded a Lithuanian worker at a military checkpoint, the spokesman said. Officials of the breakaway republic said they have begun keeping a record of brutality inflicted on their citizens.
The developments were the latest in a Soviet crackdown on the independence-seeking Baltic republics. At least 19 people have been killed in clashes involving Soviet forces since Jan. 13.
In the Sunday night assault on the customs posts, the troops entered checkpoints near the Byelorussian border in Medininkai and Lavariskes, villages 30 miles south of Vilnius, Azubalis said. He said about 12 troops were wearing the distinctive black berets of the Soviet Interior Ministry police force.
After warning the customs officers not to reopen, the Soviets withdrew, he said. Several workers were roughed up but did not require hospitalization, the spokesman said.
In Riga, police jammed an auditorium at the University of Latvia for a four-hour meeting with the Baltic republic's leaders, including Vaznis, President Anatolijs Gorbunovs and Prime Minister Ivars Godmanis.
The police hooted when Gorbunovs said barricades were erected in the streets of Riga by Latvians to defend against a possible Soviet attack.
They cheered when a leader of the pro-Moscow faction, Col. Nikolai S. Goncharenko, called for the immediate replacement of Viznis.