NATO troops attacked hundreds of Kosovar Serbs today as part of an effort to destroy blockades set up by protesters in the region, leaving at least 40 civilians injured and one of them in serious condition.
Tear gas and pepper spray were fired against demonstrators, as well as against crowds of civilians who happened to be near the site of barricades, and locals expressed shock at the severity of NATO’s response.
“We had a great relationship with KFOR (NATO’s Kosovo Force) before this. I don’t know what happened to them,” one protester noted. The Kosovar Serbs have been protesting efforts by their government, dominated by ethnic Albanians, to close off trade with neighboring Serbia.
And while NATO reported that the barricades set up by the Serbs have been destroyed, allowing troops into the border posts to close them off, many of the demonstrators appeared to raise the prospect of setting up new ones, saying that they are willing to continue for months if necessary.