Italian and Hungarian peacekeepers were injured on Monday as they tried to break up a clash between Serb protesters and police in northern Kosovo. The 25 soldiers of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) suffered, among other things, broken bones and burns.
Serb demonstrators are angry because Albanian mayors have been installed in four municipalities where Serbs mostly live. They feel that these mayors cannot represent them properly. They also demand the departure of the Kosovar police from northern Kosovo.
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti installed the mayors last week. In doing so, Kurti ignored calls from, among others, the European Union and the United States not to do so due to rising tensions.
Kosovo declared its independence in 2008, but Serbia has never recognized it. The European Union and the United States recognize Kosovo as a country.
Of the 1.8 million inhabitants of Kosovo, 92% are ethnic Albanians and 6% are ethnic Serbs. Most of the latter group live in northern Kosovo. They do not recognize the administration of Kosovo. This is why they regularly clash with the authorities.
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