Tens of thousands of Serbs have joined protests against gun violence in the capital Belgrade and another city after two mass shootings last week.
The country has been in shock after 17 people were killed in two separate onslaughts last week.
A teenage boy brought two handguns to school, killing eight pupils and a security guard. Just two days later, a 21-year-old man killed eight people in central Serbia.
Dubbed “Serbia against violence,” the march in the capital Belgrade saw members from across the country’s political divide come together to demand the resignation of top government officials, and want newspapers and TV stations that they say promote violence to be shut down.
Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vucic, condemned the protests, accusing the opposition of capitalising on a national tragedy to promote their own interests. He said he was ready to test his party’s popularity at a snap vote.
“I will continue to work and I will never back down before the street and the mob… Whether it will be a reshuffle of the government or an election, we shall see.”
The next parliamentary elections are set to take place in 2026.
Serbia’s Education Minister, Branko Ruzic, stepped down on Sunday, citing the “cataclysmic tragedy” of the recent school massacre in his resignation letter.
Serbia has the highest rates of gun ownership in Europe. A 2018 survey suggests there are 39 guns for every hundred people in Serbia – the vast majority unlicensed.
The president has started a one-month long amnesty for surrendering illegal weapons, with people able to drop of their guns to police with no questions asked. The amnesty will last 30 days.