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Tags: EU | Serbia | Kosovo | The Latest

The Latest: Kosovo Arrests 6 Ethnic Serbs for Obstruction

The Latest: Kosovo Arrests 6 Ethnic Serbs for Obstruction

Wednesday, 29 May 2019 11:37 AM EDT

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — The Latest on the tensions between Serbia and Kosovo (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

The Kosovo prosecutor's office says six ethnic Serbs who hampered Kosovo's police operation a day earlier in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo have been arrested and charged with obstruction of justice.

A statement Wednesday said the six raised road barricades with vehicles and other objects at a village in the northern Zubin Potok commune, trying to make it impossible for Kosovo police to detain crime suspects in the area.

Kosovo police said ethnic Serbs in northern Zubin Potok commune made "an armed resistance."

A U.N. vehicle with two staff members, a local citizen and a Russian, was also found there. Both were detained and later released.

The Kosovo police operation against organized crime and corruption, which heightened tensions with Serbia, ended with arrest of 19 local police officers.

Five officers and six citizens were injured during the operation.

3:10 p.m.

The European Union's top diplomat is urging Kosovo and Serbia to return to the negotiating table and normalize relations amid high tensions following an armed raid by Kosovo police in the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday that the incident "shows us that the status quo is not sustainable and that both Pristina and Belgrade need to come back to the dialogue table."

Mogherini added: "I see the risk of the dark forces of the past coming back, in terms of confrontation, even of conflict" if the two sides continue facing off.

Serbia put its troops on full alert Tuesday after armed Kosovo police fired tear gas and arrested about two dozen people in what they called an anti-organized crime operation in majority Serb areas in Kosovo.

3 p.m.

Russia and Serbia have blamed pro-NATO and Western influences for an armed raid by Kosovo police in the Serb-dominated north of Kosovo that raised tensions in the region.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday that Tuesday's incident was instigated by "those who want to create a buffer zone from Russia on the Balkans" and who "want to push everyone to NATO."

The armed operation angered Serbia, which immediately put the Serbian army on full alert in response. A Russian U.N. employee was among more than two dozen people arrested.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic says NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo "lied" when they said they had informed Belgrade in advance of the police action.

The raid was the latest flare-up in long-simmering tensions between Serbia and its former province.

© Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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The Latest on the tensions between Serbia and Kosovo (all times local):4:40 p.m.The Kosovo prosecutor's office says six ethnic Serbs who hampered Kosovo's police operation a day earlier in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo have been arrested and charged with obstruction of...
EU,Serbia,Kosovo,The Latest
418
2019-37-29
Wednesday, 29 May 2019 11:37 AM
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