North Kosovo: UNMIK, students in new disturbance

JARINJE, KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Serb students clashed with UN police in Kosovska Mitrovica Friday.

Students protest in Kosovska Mitrovica (Tanjug)
Students protest in Kosovska Mitrovica (Tanjug)

In the latest unrest sparked by Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, AFP says about 2,500 protestors hurled firecrackers and flares at international police guarding the bridge on the Ibar River in the divided town.

UN and Kosovo police pushed the students back to "isolate them from the crowd," a security official told the agency. An official with KFOR later said calm had been restored in Kosovska Mitrovica.

The students started throwing firecrackers angered by news that several hundred of their colleagues from Belgrade, Niš and Kragujevac were held at the Jarinje administrative line crossing.

The outpost was set on fire by protesting Kosovo Serbs this week, which resulted in the withdrawal of the Kosovo police, KPS. UNMIK and KFOR now man the crossing.

The dean of the University of Belgrade, Branko Kovačević, told Tanjug news agency that the international forces deployed in the province were refusing to allow the buses to enter Kosovo.

A group of some 60 students, however, managed to reach Kosovska Mitrovica where they were headed, when they crossed the administrative line on foot. A bus, sent from the Serb-dominated north Kosovo town, then met them 12 kilometers from Jarinje.

UNMIK and KFOR are since this morning allowing entry into the province from central Serbia only to the residents and those deemed as not likely to "threaten public order".

"We have opted for this move after last night's events in Belgrade and buses carrying demonstrators are strictly prohibited entry, while those carrying citizens will be allowed," a spokesman for KPS in Priština told the agency.

The students were headed to Kosovska Mitrovica to support their colleagues there, who hold daily peaceful protests at 12:44 CET, to underline that the latest U.S. and EU moves over Kosovo violate international law, and more specifically, UN Resolution 1244.