Briefly: Topless pro-gay protesters clash with anti-gay group

PARIS — The Ukrainian group Femen, whose topless members stage pranks to support gay rights, taunted a march in Paris by Catholics who oppose France’s draft law to legalize gay marriage.

The Catholic group Civitas organized Sunday’s march by several thousand people carrying pro-family banners.

Several Femen activists turned up topless, chanted “in gay we trust” and sprayed white powder from bottles.

That prompted several anti-gay marriage protesters to hit the Femen members and push them to the ground.

On Saturday, several thousand people took to the streets in cities across France to protest the draft law, which could see marriage and adoption legalized for homosexual couples early next year.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Veterans pay respects to victims in Bosnia

SREBRENICA — Veterans from opposite sides of the brutal Balkan wars of the 1990s paid their respects Saturday to the victims of the worst massacre in Europe since World War II.

The small group of former fighters from Bosnia, Serbia and Croatia laid flowers at the memorial dedicated to more than 8,000 Muslim Bosnian men and boys who were executed in 1995 by Serb forces in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica.

The visit was organized by the Center for Nonviolent Action, a nongovernmental organization that promotes nonviolence and dialogue, and encourages former foes to deal constructively with their past.

For most, this was the first time they had faced the magnitude of the crimes committed by their own forces. Participants said the visit left them “shocked” and “speechless.”

Novica Kostic, a former soldier from Serbia, said the group had visited other marked and unmarked places where people suffered during the wars “but this is heavy.”

“This is horror. Genocide is a soft word for this. This is hell for my soul,” the shaken veteran said.

After watching a documentary about the massacre, the group walked along a wall engraved with the names of the victims. Many were overwhelmed by the thousands of graves that fill the valley near Srebrenica.

After the fall of the town in July 1995, residents fled to the nearby U.N. base seeking protection from Dutch forces.

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