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Nato bids to remove Serb roadblocks

Nato-led troops in Kosovo have confronted Kosovo Serbs manning roadblocks as tensions escalated in the volatile north of the country.

They have been blocking roads to stop the country's ethnic Albanian leadership from extending its control over the part of Kosovo populated mostly by ethnic Serbs.

The Serbs reject Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence from Serbia.

After Kosovo Serb leaders refused Nato's demand to allow freedom of movement, the peacekeepers in riot gear moved early on Thursday against hundreds of Serbs at roadblocks consisting of parked lorries, rocks, mud and logs.

The troops occasionally use pepper spray against the demonstrators, who sat down on the road some six miles north west of the divided town of Mitrovica. So far, there have been no major clashes.

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From Belfast Telegraph