Alexa

NATO bolsters security in Kosovo town

NATO bolsters security in Kosovo town

NATO-led peacekeepers fanned out in a tense northern Kosovo town Tuesday amid riots that followed the arrest of two ethnic Albanians suspected in a stabbing attack on a Serb man.
Serbs hurled stones and set four Albanian-owned shops on fire in retaliation for the stabbing in the ethnically divided city of Kosovska Mitrovica. An ethnic Albanian man was wounded by gunfire in the melee, but police could not say if he was directly targeted by rioters.
The quick deployment of NATO forces reflects the resolve of Kosovo's international observers to prevent any incident from escalating _ particularly in light of the European Union's recent efforts to begin supervising police operations in Kosovo. French Brig. Gen. Michel Yakovleff, who supervises the town, told The Associated Press in an interview earlier this month that he would not hesitate to act if the EU mission is obstructed.
Only hours after police arrested two ethnic Albanian men in the stabbing incident, NATO put extra troops on the ground to secure the area.
Police spokesman Besim Hoti said the matter was under investigation. The injured man was hospitalized and remains in stable condition.
The incident quickly ignited tensions in the town 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the capital, Pristina, which has often been a scene of clashes between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. Serbs who live in the northern part of the city bitterly reject Kosovo's declaration of independence, which was issued in February.
The troubles come only weeks after the European Union deployed its largest-ever police mission to take over justice matters from the United Nations.
The EU mission was approved for deployment after Kosovo's independence declaration in hopes of promoting the rule of law. However, the deployment was stalled in part because of objections from Serbia, which insists that Kosovo remains part of its territory.
Serbia and Kosovo reluctantly agreed to cooperate with the mission last month.


Updated : 2020-11-30 23:06 GMT+08:00