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Red Star Belgrade fans park battle tank at stadium

Crvena Zvezda v Young Boys - UEFA Champions League Play Off: Second Leg

BELGRADE, SERBIA - AUGUST 27: People pose with a former Yugoslav army T-55 battle tank seen in front of northern grandstand of Rajko Mitic stadium prior to the UEFA Champions League Play Off Second Leg match between Crvena Zvezda and Young Boys at stadium Rajko Mitic on August 27, 2019 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Red Star Belgrade fans have welcomed another wartime symbol to their stadium: a real battle tank used during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia in 1990s.

The decommissioned Yugoslav army tank was parked in front of the Red Star stadium ahead of a Champions League qualifying match against Swiss champion Young Boys.

The Red Star fan club website says the tank symbolizes their slogan “Machine Has Started.” The northern stand at the stadium is reserved for the club’s most ardent supporters, known as Delije, or roughly translated the tough boys.

The stunt has triggered a strong reaction from neighboring Croatia, which fought a war for independence from the Serb-led Yugoslavia.

Croatian media say the tank is “a clear provocation” and “a scandal.”

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