Serbs block roads, plan protest in Kosovo

July 3, 2012 at 11:09 AM
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KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Kosovo, July 3 (UPI) -- Serbs who reject the authority of the Kosovo government blocked several roads Tuesday and said they don't want to be integrated into Kosovo institutions.

Tanjug reported all major roads in the municipalities of Zvecan, Kosovska Mitrovica, Zubin Potok and Leposavic were blocked and would remain closed for one hour.

Meanwhile, a protest was planned for Tuesday afternoon south of the Ibar River in Gracanica against what protesters called a poor human rights record, and force and brutality used by Kosovo police during the recent St. Vitus Day holiday.

Tangug has reported the incident occurred when a group of 70 Serbs traveled to Gazimestan to celebrate St. Vitus Day.

Members were stopped by Kosovo police in Vucitrn and ordered back through Merdare to central Serbia. A scuffle began and police opened fire. Ten Serbs were treated for injuries at the scene while 10 were taken to a hospital for more serious injures, Tangug said.

"We do not want Kosovo's institutions, those same institutions that several days ago on St. Vitus Day perpetrated brutal violence. I do not know if anyone in the international community realizes that Pristina is carrying out institutional persecution and torture against Serbs and other non-Albanians," Kosovska Mitrovica District Chief Radenko Nedeljkovic told reporters.

Nedeljkovic also said Serbs expected the international community to carry out "a comprehensive investigation" into the St. Vitus Day violence "and punish the perpetrators accordingly".

The United Nations has condemned the use of live ammunition on Serbians by Kosovo police during the incident.

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