Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Serbs and Albanians clash in northern Kosovo, seven injured

Serbs and Albanians clash in northern Kosovo, seven injured
Aug 25, 2009, 10:14 GMT


Pristina - Seven people were injured Tuesday in northern Kosovo after groups of Serbs and Albanians clashed in Mitrovica town, Kosovo police reported.

Groups of Albanians and Serbs threw stones at each other at a construction site in Brdjani neighborhood in northern Mitrovica. Some 100 Serbs gathered to protest the rebuilding of Albanian houses in Serbian part of town.

'There was no physical contact but they have thrown stones at each other. The EULEX special police units intervened using tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and the situation is under control,' police said in a press release.

Five Albanian workers and two Serbs were injured in the incident. Police also said that a bomb exploded in the area and that several shots were fired.

Kosovo's minority Serb population, which dominates Kosovo's northern parts, protested in April against the rebuilding of the houses belonging to the ethnic Albanians ousted during the 1999 war in Brdjani area. Several people, including a French soldier, were injured then.

Kosovo Albanian leaders in Pristina declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, nine years after NATO drove Serbian security forces from the province to end bloodshed.

The EU law-enforcing mission in Kosovo, EULEX, was deployed late last year, after the United States and most EU nations recognized the new country despite vehement opposition from Serbia, which claims Kosovo as its own land.

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