Kosovo police to exit north after deal with Serbia

Kosovo's special police forces, which moved into the country's disputed north overnight on Monday to extend the government's writ at borders with Serbia, have agreed to withdraw as part of a deal between Kosovo and Serbia and mediated by Nato, a spokesman for the military alliance said yesterday.

The operation was criticised by the European Union, which is currently mediating normalisation talks between the former foes. It is likely to inflame tensions in the region, which remain more than a decade after the end of Kosovo's war. Lightly armed special police units in riot gear crossed into the Serb-dominated area late on Monday and took control of one border post, before being blocked by local Serbs on the way to the other crossing point.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

Serbia has said it will not recognise the new state and Serbs living in Kosovo's north do not recognise Pristina's authority over them.

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