Tens of thousands of anti-Communist protesters rallied Wednesday on the site of their weekend clash with police to demand the resignation of the hard-line Serbian government.
As the rally began, Serbian authorities announced another key concession to protesters. The official media reported Serbian Interior Minister Radmilo Bogdanovic, whom protesters hold responsible for Saturday's violence, had offered his resignation.About 25,000 protesters gathered on Belgrade's Republic Square greeted the news of the offer with joyous cheers and chanted "trial, trial!"
Vuk Draskovic, the main opposition leader, indicated Radmilovic's resignation would not stop the protests - the greatest challenge to Serbia's hardline President Slobodan Milosevic since he took power in 1987.
"The government that has such a minister also must go, from the premier downward," Draskovic declared.
The crowd on Republic Square responded by chanting "Killers! Killers!" "Communists-Fascists" and "Slobo-Saddam," comparing Milosevic to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
They then added the chant, "Arrest Slobo!"
Five days of anti-Communist protests have gripped Serbia, the largest of the Yugoslavian republics. Tens of thousands of people, mostly students, are protesting police intervention against demonstrators Saturday that left two people dead and about 120 injured.
Serbian authorities gave in to several of the protesters' demands Tuesday, including the release of Draskovic. He had been detained Saturday.
In a statement carried by the official Tanjug news agency, Bogdanovic said he was offering to quit because he did not want to influence the work of a parliamentary commission formed to investigate the weekend violence.