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Thousands of anti-riot policemen protect gay pride march in Serbian capital

  • Members of the Serbian Gendarmerie stand ready during an anti gay rights rally in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Several hundred people gathered in Belgrade on Saturday to protest the Belgrade Gay Pride Parade, scheduled to take place in the Serbian capital on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

    Members of the Serbian Gendarmerie stand ready during an anti gay rights rally in Belgrade, Serbia, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014. Several hundred people gathered in Belgrade on Saturday to protest the Belgrade Gay Pride Parade, scheduled to take place in the Serbian capital on Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • Gay activists wave flags during the Pride March in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Waving hundreds of rainbow-colored flags, several hundred gay activists marched from the government headquarters through the empty Belgrade streets where shops were closed and public transport was stopped. Sign reads "For all the victims of violence in Serbia". (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

    Gay activists wave flags during the Pride March in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Waving hundreds of rainbow-colored flags, several hundred gay activists marched from the government headquarters through the empty Belgrade streets where shops were closed and public transport was stopped. Sign reads "For all the victims of violence in Serbia". (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)  (The Associated Press)

  • A string of balloons stands in front of members of the Serbian Gendarmerie deployed to protect the Pride March in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Thousands of anti-riot police officers were deployed Sunday in downtown Belgrade in an effort to protect a gay pride march that faced threats of attacks from extremists. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)

    A string of balloons stands in front of members of the Serbian Gendarmerie deployed to protect the Pride March in Belgrade, Serbia, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Thousands of anti-riot police officers were deployed Sunday in downtown Belgrade in an effort to protect a gay pride march that faced threats of attacks from extremists. (AP Photo/Marko Drobnjakovic)  (The Associated Press)

Thousands of anti-riot policemen have been deployed in downtown Belgrade in an effort to protect a gay pride march that has faced threats from extremists.

Water cannons, armored vehicles and shielded policemen on Sunday blocked all traffic on the planned route of the march as Serbia tries to show it respects human rights of all of its citizens as it seeks European Union membership.

Officials have allowed Sunday's event despite fears of a repeat of the violence in 2010 when right-wing groups attacked a pride march in Belgrade, triggering clashes with police that left more than 100 people injured. Authorities in the conservative Balkan country banned gay rights marches planned for the following three years, citing security reasons.

On Saturday, thousands of extremists protested in Belgrade against the march.