Serb court sentences 9 suspects to suspended jail terms in 2008 US embassy attack in Belgrade

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BELGRADE, Serbia — A court in Serbia has sentenced nine suspects to suspended prison sentences for setting fire to the U.S. embassy in Belgrade during riots over Kosovo's independence in 2008.

The Belgrade Higher Court on Wednesday sentenced the nine to suspended jail terms ranging from five to 10 months. It also acquitted two suspects in the attack in which one rioter died.

Hundreds of nationalist rioters stormed the U.S. embassy on Feb. 21, 2008, protesting against Washington's support for the statehood of Kosovo, the predominantly ethnic Albanian province that had declared independence from Serbia. The attackers threw rocks, bottles and torches at the embassy building, thus setting it on fire.

The embassy attack had strained relations between Serbia's then-nationalist government and Washington. Belgrade has refused to accept Kosovo's independence.

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