Serbs break through Kosovo police cordon

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Serbs from Kosovska Mitrovica's Brđani neighborhood this morning broke through a Kosovo police, KPS, cordon.

Serbs protest on Friday (FoNet)
Serbs protest on Friday (FoNet)

They were protesting against reconstruction works on five ethic Albanian homes in this area.

The protesters stopped about a hundred meters from the so-called yellow line of separation and continued to denounce the works.

The local Serbs were carrying Serbian flags and banners reading, "Kosovo is the soul of Serbia", and, "Stop the terror against Serbs".

EULEX police today once again used tear gas against them, while KFOR troops were deployed in the nearby hills.

The Serbs want their compatriots to be allowed to return to their homes in Kosovo before Albanians are allowed to do the same. They are demanding reciprocity and an agreement on the reconstruction of northern Kosovska Mitrovica houses.

Ethnic Albanians live in the north of the town, while there are no Serbs in the southern, Albanian-controlled part. This northern Kosovo town is divided by the Ibar River.

One of the Brđani residents' representatives, Nebojša Minić, said that events today showed that EULEX and KFOR are "taking the side of Albanians", and that "double standards are at work".

He confirmed that starting Monday, the local Serbs would continue to gather in daily two-hour protests, in order to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with this manner of return of Albanians to Brđani, and against reconstruction of either Albanian or Serb homes without a previous agreement.

Reports from the scene said that international forces used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets against the protesting Serbs throughout this week.

On Friday, EULEX spokesman Christoph Lamfalussy denied that EU mission's police members had used rubber bullets at any pointed during the troubles in Brđani.