Yugoslav students ended their five-day occupation of central Belgrade Thursday, proclaiming victory after forcing concessions from the republic of Serbia's communist rulers.
"We've won. There is no doubt," student leader Aleksandar Nikacevic said after authorities bowed to their key demands.But the Yugoslav state presidency and the army met within hours of the end of the protests to discuss security in the Balkan country amid fears of a military crackdown.
The crisis has worsened relations between Yugoslavia's six republics and pushed it closer to collapse after months of tensions, diplomats and local observers said.
The last of thousands of protesters who had occupied Belgrade's Terazije square since the weekend left at 3 a.m., celebrating a victory that has weakened communism's grip on Serbia, the biggest republic.
In response to the protesters' demands, Serbian authorities released most of the 600 people detained in clashes with police Saturday, forced five media chiefs to resign and persuaded Serbia's interior minister to offer to quit.
"We have to see (Interior Minister Radmilo) Bogdanovic's resignation but that seems just a formality," Nikacevic said.
The only other major unanswered demand was the resignation of the entire Serbian government, as called for by opposition leader Vuk Draskovic late in the protest.
On Thursday, workers cleaned up Terazije Avenue, which had thronged with chanting, singing protesters since the weekend, when two people were killed and more than 80 were wounded in clashes with police under Bogdanovic's control.