NATO soldiers injured after a clash with Serb demonstrators in Kosovo |  outside

NATO soldiers injured after a clash with Serb demonstrators in Kosovo | outside

with videoNATO-led peacekeepers on Monday dispersed Serb protesters who clashed with police in northern Kosovo. 25 soldiers from Hungary and Italy were wounded, according to reports by the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). These included bone fractures and burns. The last reason was the petrol bombs thrown by the demonstrators.

In the city of Zvecan, Kosovo, Serb demonstrators demanded the dismissal of the recently elected ethnic Albanian mayors, because they do not consider them to be their true representatives. The Serbs in Kosovo had boycotted elections last month in the northern cities. As a result, Albanians dominated the local councils, despite a meager turnout of less than 3.5 percent of the electorate.

Kosovo’s prime minister, Albin Kurti, officially named the mayors last week. In doing so, they have ignored calls, among others, from the European Union and the United States not to do so, in order to reduce rising tensions. Both the European Union and the United States have supported Kosovo’s independence from Serbia since 2008. However, most Serbs in northern Kosovo believe that this region belongs to Serbia.

Early on Monday, groups of Serbs gathered in front of the town hall in Zvecan, and subsequently attempted to enter it. In addition to sacking the mayors, they have also demanded the withdrawal of the Kosovo Police, whose presence in northern Kosovo has long sparked resistance.

© ANP / EPA


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