Violence predicted in Kosovo during election

BELGRADE, Serbia, May 4 (UPI) -- A Serbian military official says violence may break out in Kosovo as Serbia goes to the polls Sunday.

Residents of Kosovo are allowed to vote in Serbian presidential and parliamentary elections; however, Serbian Military Intelligence Agency Director Dragan Vladisavljevic said there is a threat of violence in Kosovo during the elections because of increasing inter-ethnic tensions, B92 reported.


"In the mixed communities in northern Kosovo and around enclaves south of the Ibar River, one could see groups of armed Albanians," he said. "Their mere presence is a form of intimidation, and some extremist groups have openly threatened that they would forcefully prevent the holding of the Serbian elections."

However, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a release Kosovo Force, a NATO-led international peacekeeping force in Kosovo, will continue its mission of maintaining a secure environment in the region and extra troops have been deployed to the area for the elections.

"KFOR's mission is to preserve a safe and secure environment for all people of Kosovo in an impartial way, as it has done for over a decade. I have full confidence in the judgement and professionalism of the commander of KFOR to use all the means within his mandate and all the instruments at his disposal, including the second battalion of the Operational Reserve Force, which has now been deployed to Kosovo," the statement said.


Meanwhile, Serbia entered a 48-hour period of pre-election silence Friday, Tanjug reported.

Election law prohibits campaigning through media, public meetings and publications until polls close Sunday at 10 p.m.

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