According to the Petrovac police station, Mahmut Didovic, also known as Marizela, was arrested for provoking the incidents. As we learned, Didovic led the group of Bosniaks that, in the night between Saturday and Sunday, provoked a fight with the group of Serbs from Drnic, led by Vojislav Banjac. The Police, on Saturday night, took into custody a few more persons, but all of them were released after giving a statement.
Sero Druzic, the police chief in Petrovac, says that the perpetrators had been known to the police from earlier, because Didovic had attacked on several occasions Serb returnees, while Banjac had attacked Bosniaks a few times in Drnic.
According to Druzic, incidents started on Sunday morning, at 2am, in the night club "Atila", during the concert by Halid Beslic.
According to the witnesses, everything started with a verbal showdown between the two groups. Didovic, whose daughter was killed in the war, was the instigator.
The following day, when it seemed that the tension has subsided, a group of Bosniaks headed to the Serb-owned restaurants and bars. They proceeded to demolish the restaurants and beat the guests, says Druzic.
On Sunday, the vandals, in the afternoon, demolished the café-bar "Petica", owned by Mile Kovacevic, and the café-bar "Kalimero", owned by Mico Majstorovic. Also, the attackers assaulted guests at the café-bar owner by Dragoljub Jelicic, in the center of the town.
All of these establishments were closed day before yesterday.
Regarding the incidents, the officials of the Petrovac Municipality issued statements yesterday. Vid Jelicic, the mayor, demanded that the police chief be fired because of late and ineffective reaction by the police. Jelicic told us that this demand was sent to the UN mission.
"The leading officers of the police in Petrovac are partly responsible for the incidents and that is why I demand their resignation," Jelicic said, adding that he was expecting an official Police report and that, in any case, the perpetrators were extremists.
Mile Atlagic, representative in the local council in Petrovac, is also dissatisfied by the police intervention. According to him "the fight was not a surprise, we've had that before". "The problem is that the police failed to react in time".
"Sero Druzic, the police chief in Petrovac, was on the spot when the incidents started, and did nothing to prevent them," Atlagic says. He adds that there were inter-ethnic clashes in the past as well, but that the local authorities tried to hush them down.
Nevertheless, Druzic rejects these accusations, claiming that these are simply pre-election activities of the local politicians, and that he attended the concert of Halid Beslic as a civilian.