Kosovo Police Clash with Albanian Protesters near Serbia Border

World | January 14, 2012, Saturday // 18:07|  views

Kosovo police officers clash with supporters of Self-Determination (VETVENDOSJE!) movement in town of Podujevo, Kosovo, 14 January 2012. EPA/BGNES

Kosovo police has clashed with protesters, this time ethnic Albanians, who held a rally in Northern Kosovo against the import of goods from neighboring Serbia.

The protest was organized by Albin Kurti, leader of the radical Self-Determination (Vet?vendosje) Kosovar movement.

It had the goal to block the Merdare checkpoint to Serbia in a protest against what activists claim is the smuggling of embargoed Serbian goods.

Some 100 Kosovo riot police blockaded the access to Merdare near the town of Podujevo, where they clashed with ralliers, using teargas and truncheons.

According to reports by local sources, dozens have been injured from both sides of the clash.

"Serbia is Kosovo's enemy and the slogan of our protest is "Serbia Shall Not Pass!" stated Albin Kurti, who was present at the rally.

Serbia and Kosovo have mutually imposed embargoes on goods, as Serbia has refused to recognize the independence of its erstwhile province.

Over the summer and fall of 2011, ethnic Serbs in Northern Kosovo staged massive road blocks in order to prevent Kosovo authorities taking over checkpoints to Serbia and imposing the embargo.

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Tags: independence, Albin Kurti, teargas, police, embargo, kosovo, Northern Kosovo, Serbs, Albanians, injured


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