Violence Wednesday at the opening of Bosnia's first-ever gay pride festival has forced the event underground, reports the Agence France-Press news agency.

Violent attacks on festival-goers at the gay festival's inaugural art exhibit by some 70 men, some shouting “God is greatest” in Arabic, injured eight people, including two journalists and a policeman.

“We are not interrupting the [gay] festival, but we will change the format. It will no longer be a public event,” said Slobodanka Dekic from Q Association. “The right people will have the right information about what is happening and where.”

Organizers said some people were dragged out of their cars and beaten.

The gay pride festival first met with resistance from the country's Muslim majority over its opening during the holy month of Ramadan, a month-long religious observance where Muslims do not eat or drink anything from dawn to sunset.

But gay rights activists said Muslims would have been offended no matter when the festival was held.

“It coincided with Ramadan unintentionally,” Q Association leader Svetlana Djurkovic told Reuters.

“This is a festival of arts and culture and there are many believers in our population as well.”

Fears of escalating violence are not groundless in the Balkan state, where an ethnic civil war in the 90s killed tens of thousands and homophobia remains prevalent.

The violence at the gay festival was condemned by Bosnia's Human Rights Minister Safet Halilvic, “Attack last night on organizers and visitors of the queer festival is an example of unacceptable human rights violations.”