Kosovo: Nato sends in reinforcements

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The Independent Online

Nato announced yesterday that it will send hundreds more troops to Kosovo after an escalation of violence between ethnic Albanians and Serbs last week.

A battalion of troops, mainly from Germany and Austria, will join the Kosovo Security Force KFOR in coming days. Nato's force in Kosovo numbers nearly 6,000.

Violence flared last week after Kosovo sent ethnic Albanian special police units to border posts that had been staffed mostly by ethnic Serbs to enforce a ban on imports from Serbia. One ethnic Albanian policeman was shot dead in three days of violence.

Serbia lost control of Kosovo in 1999, when Nato waged a 78-day bombing campaign to end Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanian rebels and ethnic cleansing.

Kosovo declared independence in 2008 but the 60,000 Serbs living in northern Kosovo still consider Belgrade to be their capital.