Ethnic Kosovo Serbs rally again and threaten to take over northern municipality

ZVECAN, Kosovo (AP) – Troops from the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo placed metal fences and barbed wire barriers in a northern town on Wednesday following clashes with Serbs from strain that injured 30 international soldiers.

Hundreds of ethnic Serbs began gathering outside Zvecan town hall, 45 kilometers (28 miles) north of the capital, Pristina, in their repeated efforts to seize the offices of one of the municipalities where ethnic Albanian mayors have taken office. last week.

NATO has decided to send 700 additional troops to northern Kosovo to help quell violent protests after Monday’s clashes.

The confrontation unfolded last week after ethnic Albanian officials elected in a vote overwhelmingly boycotted by Serbs entered municipal buildings to take office. When the Serbs attempted to block them, Kosovo police fired tear gas to disperse them in Zvecan, causing clashes with NATO-led troops which injured 30 international soldiers.

NATO peacekeepers insisted that ethnic Albanian mayors and Kosovo police leave northern Kosovo.

Serbia has placed the country’s military on high alert and sent more troops to the border with Kosovo.

A former province of Serbia, Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008 is not recognized by Belgrade. Ethnic Albanians make up most of the population, but Kosovo has a restless Serb minority in the north of the country, on the border with Serbia.

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