Protest at Kosovo border post injures 19 police officers 2008-02-26 06:01:25   Print

    PRISTINA, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- Nineteen Kosovo police officers were injured on Monday when Serb protestors attacked them at a border post, police said.

    A crowd of more than 100 Serbs gathered at the Mutivoda crossing point in northeastern Kosovo in the afternoon and began to hurl stones and glass bottles at the police. Police used tear gas to disperse them, said Kosovo Police Service (KPS) spokesman Veton Elshani.

    NATO-led international peacekeepers stepped in and brought the situation under control, said the spokesman.

    The Serbs were protesting the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo by the ethnic Albanian authorities on Feb. 17.

    Kosovo police believed that the protestors were organized because they were escorted by firefighters, ambulances and trucks with stones. Kosovo security authorities believed the protestors were Serb veterans and army reservists.

    A similar incident occurred last Thursday at another border post. A group of Serbs tried to enter Kosovo but were stopped by international and local security forces.

    In the ethnically-divided city of Mitrovica, up to 2,000 Serbs protested on Monday for the eighth day in a row. Protestors burned European Union flags. But no violence was reported.

    Also on Monday, Serbia's minister for Kosovo, Slobodan Samardzic, entered Kosovo to meet Serb communities. He visited a construction site in eastern Kosovo where the Serbian government is building houses for Serbs living in Kosovo.

    Samardzic was initially denied entry by the UN Mission in Kosovo, which later changed its mind. His visit, however, was branded by Kosovo Deputy Prime Minister Hajredin Kuqi as provocation from Serbia, which rejects Kosovo's independence declaration.

Editor: Yan Liang
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