Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tensions increase at Kosovo borders

Fires at border posts on Tuesday

NATO troops brought in on Tuesday after border posts were attacked are also guarding the bridges near to the Serbian border with Kosovo. The list of countries are growing, both in support of the declaration of independence and opposing the move. Earlier a move to block the UN’s recognition of the split away state was thwarted after the Secretary General, Banki Moon, said it was up to each country to decide their respective positions, a decision echoed by the European parliament [BBC]. Today [Wednesday] Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov declared the EU justice and police mission to Kosovo as illegal [BBC]. Sporadic violence has flared in parts of northern Kosovo near to the Serbian border. On Monday there were already protest seen on Mitrovica [BBC], but the most troubling scenes came on Tuesday when hundreds of protesters converged on two border posts and destroyed police vehicles and set fire to buildings [CNN]. The crossings remain closed and are now guarded by NATO troops [BBC]. However, the commander of NATO forces said that troop numbers would not be stepped up besides the increased tensions [CNN].

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