NATO deploys additional peacekeepers in tense Kosovo

A fire burns next to a German KFOR armored personnel carrier at the border crossing Jarinje, September 16, 2011

From Aleksandar Vasovic and Branislav Krstic, Reuters:  NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo (KFOR) reinforced troops at a border crossing in the ethnic Serb north on Wednesday, a day after more than a dozen people were injured in clashes.

About 50 German KFOR troops in armored vehicles and bulldozers were also deployed close to the main bridge in the divided town of Mitrovica.

A Reuters correspondent said KFOR troops deployed armored vehicles, sand bags and barbed wire at the Jarinje crossing on the border with Serbia, about 100 km (60 miles) from Kosovo’s capital Pristina.

Sixteen Kosovo Serbs and four peacekeepers were injured there on Tuesday during a confrontation between KFOR troops and a Serb crowd rallying against the removal of a barrier.

Kosovo’s government in Pristina is trying to reinstate its presence in the largely lawless north, home to 60,000 Kosovo Serbs who still pledge allegiance to Belgrade. . . .

In a statement, NATO said people had the right to protest but "when protests turn violent and freedom of movement is impeded, NATO will need to act. . . ."

Serbian President Boris Tadic had telephone talks with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and demanded an investigation of the Jarinje incident, a statement from Tadic’s office said.  (photo: Getty)

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