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EULEX fires tear gas, EU condemns violence in K.Mitrovica

05. May 2009. | 06:46 07:47

Source: Beta

Brdjani representative Sinisa Lazic was injured on May 4 in this Kosovska Mitrovica neighborhood when EULEX members fired a large quantity of tear gas on Serbs attempting to approach a site where ethnic Albanians were reconstructing houses.

Brdjani representative Sinisa Lazic was injured on May 4 in this Kosovska Mitrovica neighborhood when EULEX members fired a large quantity of tear gas on Serbs attempting to approach a site where ethnic Albanians were reconstructing houses.

After the tear gas canister hit him in the shoulder, Lazic was transferred to the Kosovska Mitrovica hospital where he received treatment.

Ophthalmology ward chief Milka Belovic said Lazic had been in direct contact with the tear gas and that both his eyes were damaged, but that he would no longer feel any discomfort as early as May 5, with treatment.

During a two-hour protest, rallying several hundred Serbs in Brdjani, the EULEX police also fired a shock bomb.

The Kosovo police were also taking part in securing Brdjani, preventing Serbs from approaching the yellow line which divides the town into Serb and ethnic Albanian parts, behind which the ethnic Albanians were renewing houses despite an agreement reached in 2000.

The agreement states that no one can reconstruct houses in the zone of division without the consent of both sides.

As of May 4, there was barbed wire around the part of Brdjani containing ethnic Albanian homes. There was a heavy KFOR presence in armored vehicles on the surrounding hills.

The Brdjani neighborhood is home to around 2,000 Serbs and around 550 children, living in 146 houses.

EU condemns violence in Kosovska Mitrovica 

The European Union issued a statement today, condemning the outbreak of violence last week, during the protests of Serbs in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.

"Rioters in Kosovo who targeted international peacekeepers should be brought to justice as soon as possible," the European Union said after ethnic violence in the Serb enclave of Kosovska Mitrovica left a French peacekeeper injured.

“The EU will press for anyone who endangers the lives of (EU and NATO) personnel to be brought swiftly to justice,” the bloc said in a statement.

The violence began when ethnic Serbs in the enclave protested against moves by ethnic Albanians to rebuild houses in the area which they had been forced to flee when fighting broke out between the two communities in 1999. In the meantime, Albanians began reconstructing their houses in the northern part of the town

Jaksic: By renovating their houses, Albanians want to take the north of Kosmet   

The vice-president of the Assembly of the Community of Municipalities of Kosovo-Metohija, Marko Jaksic, assessed that by renovating their houses in the north of Kosovska Mitrovica, Albanians want to take the north of Kosmet.

Jaksic said that the renovation of houses owned by Kosovo Albanians and their return to the north of Mitrovica represents a conceived construction on their part.

The substitution of EULEX for UNMIK was wrong, which has been shown by the latest incidents in Brdjani, northern Mitrovica, Jaksic assessed.

He emphasized that the local Kosovo Albanian community has always been consulted on the issue of a return of Serbs to any place in Kosmet, but when it comes to the return of Albanians to northern Mitrovica, Serbs have not been consulted by anyone on that issue.
 

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