NATO activates reserve force for Kosovo

Slovenian troops serving in the NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, near the village of Rudare, July 29, 2011

From Slobodan Lekic, the AP:  NATO sent reserve forces to Kosovo on Monday after a week of violence near the border with Serbia left one Kosovo police officer dead and brought peacekeepers under fire.

The additional troops are not permanently beefing up the alliance force in Kosovo, but providing immediate relief for soldiers who have been on duty since the crisis began, NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero stressed. . . .

“This is not an escalation, on the contrary, the situation is calming down,” Romero said. “This is a pure tactical decision to relieve our forces and be on the safe side.”

Romero declined to discuss the size of the reserve force. But an official who could not to be identified under standing rules said a battalion-sized unit based in Germany had been activated. A battalion usually numbers about 700 troops.

Romero declined to say when the deployment would commence.  (photo: AP)

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