Three Wounded in Clashes in Northern Kosovo

Posted November 9th, 2011 at 6:40 pm (UTC-5)
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At least three ethnic Serbs, including one policeman, were wounded during a shootout with ethnic Albanians Wednesday evening in restive northern Kosovo.

Police spokesman Besim Hoti said the wounded were hospitalized in the town of Kosovska Mitrovica and that two were in serious condition. It was not immediately clear what caused the skirmish in the ethnically divided town, but Hoti said the gunfire followed a fight between ethnic Albanians and Serbs.

Kosovska Mitrovica has been the scene of intensified ethnic clashes since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, making Serbs a minority in the mostly ethnic Albanian region.

Kosovo's government condemned the attack and urged for calm on both sides amid growing worries the situation could escalate. European Union police were called in to support local forces in keeping the two sides apart.

Northern Kosovo and the area between Kosovo and Serbia have been filled with tensions since July, as authorities in Kosovo try to establish the border control while Kosovo's ethnic Serbs fight it.