Serbia sends troops to border after Kosovo clashes

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A Kosovan constabulary  officerImage source, Getty Images

Serbia's president has placed the service connected alert and moved units adjacent to the Kosovo border, aft clashes betwixt constabulary and Kosovo's Serb minority.

Ten radical were injured successful the unit aft residents gathered extracurricular authorities buildings successful the Serb bulk borderline municipality of Zvecan.

Police utilized teardrop state to disperse the protesters, and gunshots and explosions could beryllium heard successful videos posted online.

Clashes began aft constabulary moved to instal caller taste Albanian mayors.

Kosovo's Serb number - which accounts for astir 5% of the country's 1.8 cardinal colonisation - boycotted April's section elections successful 4 bluish municipalities, allowing taste Albanians to instrumentality power of the councils.

Belgrade backed the boycott - resulting successful a turnout of conscionable 3.47% - which was sparked aft the Serb assemblage demanded the constitution of a promised relation of Serbian municipalities.

The Serbian number says the relation would enactment connected education, healthcare, onshore readying and economical development, but taste Albanians fearfulness it could let the enactment of a pro-Serbian statelet.

After the recently elected mayors attempted to instrumentality bureau connected Friday, Serb residents - who rallied to the dependable of a assemblage alarm utilized to pass of a constabulary beingness - sought to artifact them.

Kosovan constabulary past moved to escort the politicians past protesters, starring to clashes.

Kosovan officials acknowledged their officers had accrued their beingness successful the country "to assistance mayors of the bluish communes of Zvecan, Leposavic and Zubin Potok to exert their close of enactment astatine the authoritative objects".

Local officers successful Zvecan said 5 officers were injured and astatine slightest 4 vehicles were damaged during the unrest, with 1 car destroyed aft it was acceptable connected fire.

Serbia's Defence Minister Milos Vucevic said President Aleksander Vucic had ordered an "urgent question [of troops] to the Kosovo border".

"It is wide that the panic against the Serb assemblage successful Kosovo is happening," helium said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticised the usage of unit by Kosovan government, saying that it had taken enactment against the proposal of the US and EU allies.

Mr Blinken said the determination had "sharply and unnecessarily escalated tensions successful the region" and had served to undermine efforts to "normalise relations betwixt Kosovo and Serbia".

Kosovo unilaterally declared independency from Serbia successful February 2008, aft years of strained relations betwixt its Serb and chiefly Albanian inhabitants.

It has been recognised by the United States and large European Union countries, but Serbia, backed by its almighty state Russia, refuses to bash so, arsenic bash astir taste Serbs wrong Kosovo.

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