Kosovo: Ethnic clashes in Mitrovica

Pristina – Five people suffered minor injuries during clashes between Serbs and Albanians on Thursday in the northern part of Mitrovica, Kosovo’s Police Forces said.

The incident was triggered when a group of Albanians crossed over to the northern part of the divided town of Mitrovica with the intention of rebuilding their houses destroyed in 1999.

Veton Elshani, spokesman of Kosovo’s Police Service told Balkan Insight that “local Albanians were again heading to the north but were stopped by UNMIK until the situation goes back to normal ”.

“The situation is calm today,” he added.

The town’s deputy police commander, Predrag Vasović, reported for Serbian media that “a group of Serbs gathered round and stood in their path, and that’s when the clashes broke out. They used crowbars and wooden bats.”

Immediately after the incident, that part of Mitrovica was cordoned off by UN police and NATO troops.

Mitrovica has been the subject of sporadic clashes between Albanians living in the south of the town and Serbs in the north since the end of the war in 1999

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