KFOR: Serbs voluntarily remove barricade

During the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, citizens removed a barricade on the northern side of the main bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica, Tanjug reported.

Source: Beta, Tanjug
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Serbs voluntarily decided to remove the barricade, KFOR spokesman Angelo Morcella said today.

According to an AP report, this came after several meetings held between representatives of Serbs in Kosovo and the commander of KFOR.

The barricade was removed with the use of trucks and heavy machinery, said Tanjug.

No incidents were reported during the removal, which lasted nearly three hours. There was also no gathering of citizens, except for local residents who were woken up by the noise and watched the operation from their windows, according to the news agency.

News crews from the southern part of Kosovska Mitrovica reported on the barricade on the city's main bridge being removed.

Members of Italian KFOR and Kosovo police watched the operation from nearby, "without taking any action," said Tanjug, and added that "the barricade was removed using two excavators and several heavy trucks to haul the soil, concrete and sand away from the bridge."

The barricade set up on the northern side of the Ibar bridge in Kosovska Mitrovica was one of the largest built in this part of Kosovo in 2011, when the Serbs opposed to the presence of Kosovo institutions in the north by placing barricades and roadblocks.

One smaller barricade is still in place on the road leading from the Bošnjacka Mahala settlement to the center of the northern part of the ethnically divided town.

"Cynicism"

The provincial board of the Democratic Party of Serbia (DSS) announced on Wednesday that it was a case of "political cynicism to present to the citizens of Serbia that Serbs removed the barricade themselves. "

"This is a gruesome lie, considering that the whole job was done at the break of dawn by a construction operative from southern (ethnic Albanian) part of Kosovska Mitrovica, with strong security provide by KFOR, EULEX, and the special unit ROSU from the Kosovo police service."

The party added that the removal of the barricade came as a result of a recent meeting in Berlin between Serbian PM Aleksandar Vučić and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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