Anti-communist protesters stormed Moldova's parliament Tuesday, accusing that the Communist Party won Sunday's general election fraudulently.

The violence started after more than 10,000 protesters, carrying flags of the European Union, Moldova and Romania gathered in front of the parliament building, demanding the holding of new elections and raising anti-Communist slogans.

The angry group, mostly youngsters, broke into the building through smashed ground-floor windows, breaking the police cordon and set fire to furniture.

Tear gas and water cannon were directed at the protesters by security forces guarding the parliament building.

The protestors also attacked an adjacent presidential office.

Reports said the skirmish left 30 persons injured, from both sides of the barricades.

In the week-end elections, the Communists won half of the votes, pushing past the center-right opposition Liberal Party and the Liberal Democratic Party.

However, that voting pattern did not reflect proportionately in the number of seats. The Communists require 61 seats in the 101-member parliament to elect a new president.

As per the country's constitution, President Vladimir Voronin cannot continue to be in power, as he completes two terms in office, beginning 2001.

While international observers judged the election process to be 'fair,' anti-Communist groups said the election was fraudulent, with some voters casting multiple ballots.

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