Dozens hurt in clashes between Serbs and Kosovo police
PRISTINA - Agence France-Presse
REUTERS photoDozens of people were injured Thursday in clashes between Serbs and Kosovo police on the Merdare border crossing between Serbia and Kosovo, authorities and local media said.
A group of 70 Serbs had entered Kosovo Thursday morning to go to a ceremony marking the defeat of the medieval Serb army by the Ottoman Empire in the famous battle of Kosovo in 1389.
But Kosovo police said the Serbs were disturbing public order in the northern and ethnically divided city of Kosovska Mitrovica and began expelling them from the territory.
"After they were deported from the Kosovo territory they started throwing stones and other objects in direction of officers of the Kosovo border police .. injuring 32 officers," police said in a statement.
Nine police officials were treated at a hospital while others with minor injuries were tended to in nearby village.
Serbia's Beta news agency said 20 Serbs were also injured in the clashes, including three who sustained gunshot wounds.
Earlier on Thursday there was another incident in the tense border area between Serbia and Kosovo when unknown attackers fired automatic rifles at a Serbian police post, slightly injuring a Serb police man.
Serbia does not recognise the 2008 declaration of independence of majority ethnic Albanian Kosovo and continues to consider the territory its southern province.