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NATO troops spar with Serbs (video) — RT World News

Video footage released by RT Balkan shows a Serb protest in northern Kosovo turning into a scuffle between demonstrators and the NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR).

Protesters confronted KFOR soldiers outside the municipal building in the town of Zvekan on Monday morning, where a new ethnic-Albanian mayor is due to take office after the town’s Serb-majority election was boycotted.

The video shows two groups of protesters sitting peacefully near the soldiers, one group close to the camera and the other further away. A loud explosion erupted from the direction of the latter group, followed by a series of similar explosions. NATO troops fired tear gas into the crowd, which responded by throwing rocks at the troops.

RT Balkan’s correspondent at the scene said KFOR fired the first stun grenade, provoking the clashes, but this was not immediately apparent from the images.

Around 50 protesters were taken to a hospital in nearby Mitrovica with injuries, with two taken to the emergency room, RT Balkan reported. The force announced in a statement that 25 KFOR soldiers were injured in the melee.

Tensions have been high in northern Kosovo since April, when the region’s Serb majority boycotted elections backed by the ethnic Albanian government in Pristina. Despite a turnout of less than 4%, Kosovo authorities considered the result to be legitimate – with four ethnic Albanian mayors winning in an uncontested contest.

After Monday’s scuffle, NATO and Western officials accused Serb protesters of inciting violence.Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic accused Kosovo Albanian Prime Minister Albin Kurti of trying to “to provoke a major conflict between the Serbs and NATO,” and warn Serbia “Will not allow the massacre or killing of its people.”

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