Shots fired near NATO patrol in Kosovo's volatile north

Shots fired near NATO patrol in Kosovo's volatile north


The local Serbs do not recognise the state of Kosovo.

PRISTINA (Reuters) - Shots were fired near a NATO patrol in the northern part of Kosovo where local Serbs have set up roadblocks to bar police from Pristina from patrolling the area marred by ethnic tensions in recent months, NATO said on Sunday.

No one was injured and the car was undamaged when the shots were heard in the area of Zubin Potok, NATO s mission, KFOR, said in a statement. KFOR did not say where the shots came from. Some 3,760 NATO troops maintain the fragile peace.

Local Serbs, a population of around 50,000 in Kosovo s north, set up barricades after police on Dec. 10 arrested a former Serb police officer on charges of assaulting serving police officers during a previous protest.

The local Serbs, who do not recognise the state of Kosovo and are backed by Belgrade, are demanding the release of the arrested officer and other demands before they will remove the barricades.

Kosovo s government has asked KFOR, which maintains a neutral role, to remove the barricades.

Ethnic Serb mayors in northern municipalities, along with local judges and some 600 police officers, resigned last month in protest over a Kosovo government decision to replace Serbian-issued car license plates with ones issued by Pristina.