With videoNATO-led peacekeepers on Monday dispersed Serb protesters who had clashed with police in northern Kosovo. 25 Hungarian and Italian soldiers were injured, reports the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR). These included broken bones and burns. The latter were caused by the firebombs thrown by the demonstrators.
In the Kosovo town of Zvecan, Serb protesters demanded the removal of newly elected ethnic Albanian mayors, as they do not see them as their true representatives. Kosovo Serbs had boycotted elections last month in northern towns. As a result, ethnic Albanians took control of local councils, despite a miniscule turnout of less than 3.5% of the electorate.
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti officially installed the mayors last week. In doing so, they ignored calls from, among others, the European Union and the United States not to do so, in order to reduce growing tensions. Both the EU and the US have supported Kosovo’s independence from Serbia since 2008. However, most Serbs in northern Kosovo believe that this region belongs to Serbia.
Early Monday, groups of Serbs gathered outside the municipal building in Zvecan, which they then tried to enter. In addition to the dismissal of the mayors, they also demanded the withdrawal of the Kosovar police, whose presence in northern Kosovo has long provoked resistance.
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