The clashes began as Kosovo police tried to disperse protesters trying to block newly elected Albanian mayors from entering their offices. Municipal elections last month were largely ignored by Kosovo Serbs, allowing ethnic Albanians to win seats in local governments.
The UK, France, Italy, Germany and the US issued a joint statement calling for the “de-escalation” of Kosovo. Western powers said they were “concerned by Serbia’s decision to raise the level of combat readiness of its military forces on the border with Kosovo”.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said: “We will keep the peace, but I tell you that Serbia will not sit idly by when the Serbs are attacked in northern Kosovo.”
Last year, Serbian politicians left their offices in several municipalities after Kosovar officials prevented them from creating an organization to coordinate proposals to address the social and economic problems of ethnic Serbs.
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