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Serbs clash with police in northern Kosovo over Albanian lawmakers

In Kosovo, groups of ethnic Serbs clashed with police in several northern municipalities as they tried to prevent Albanian elected officials from taking office.

In Zvecan, police said ten people were arrested on Friday after blocking access to the town hall run by an Albanian mayor. Unrest also took place in Zubin Potok, Leposavic and in northern Kosovska Mitrovica.

Earlier in the day, Serbs also turned on their alarm sirens in the four communes, including the main northern city of Mitrovica, in a warning sign and a call to assemble.

Albanians make up the majority of Kosovo’s population but are a minority in the north, which is closer to Serbia and therefore has a majority of ethnic Serbs.

Recent municipal elections were boycotted by the Serbian community, leading to the election of Albanian mayors. Today, ethnic Serbs refuse to recognize the authority of these mayors.

The reason Serbs had opposed the election was to protest against the creation of an association between the two communities to coordinate work on education, healthcare, land-use planning and development economy at the local level.

Serbian representatives left their administrative posts last year to protest against the association.

Both sides have tentatively agreed to back an EU plan on how to proceed, but tensions continue to simmer.

euronews Gt

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