The first gay pride parade in Belgrade, Serbia since 2001 was the site of violent clashes between police and anti-gay protestors, who set fire to a building and reportedly chanted "death to homosexuals" and "the hunt has begun."

The last gay pride parade, held nine years ago, was the subject of similar violence, and this year's event was accompanied by a heavy police presence.

First Gay Pride Parade in Nine Years Disrupted by Violent Rioters

First Gay Pride Parade in Nine Years Disrupted by Violent Rioters

According to reports cited by the BBC, "gangs of skinheads roaming the streets, throwing petrol bombs and setting off firecrackers as police battled to hold them back." The offices of the Democratic Party—Serbia's ruling party—were set on fire.

First Gay Pride Parade in Nine Years Disrupted by Violent Rioters

First Gay Pride Parade in Nine Years Disrupted by Violent Rioters

Marchers, for the most part, remained unbowed.

First Gay Pride Parade in Nine Years Disrupted by Violent Rioters

First Gay Pride Parade in Nine Years Disrupted by Violent Rioters

On Saturday, the day before the parade, an anti-gay rally was held. The Serbian Orthodox church condemned the gay pride event, but also spoke out against violence. The woman with dog is carrying a sign with a slogan that the AP translates as "I like normal population better than sexual deviation."

First Gay Pride Parade in Nine Years Disrupted by Violent Rioters

First Gay Pride Parade in Nine Years Disrupted by Violent Rioters

[BBC; photos via AP]