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  Tuesday, July 16, 2019
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United Nations police will return to Mitrovica in north Kosovo
United Nations police will return to Mitrovica in north Kosovo on Wednesday, a day after a Ukrainian peacekeeper died following a clash with rioters, a UN spokesman said.

The violence in the Serb-dominated area of Mitrovica began when UN police and NATO-led KFOR troops launched an operation on Monday morning to regain control of a UN court building seized last week by ethnic Serbs.

Alexander Ivanko, a spokesman for the UN mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), said the situation is now under control, and that UNMIK police forces are ready to return after Monday's withdrawal. KFOR forces have remained in the city.

Serb rioters attacked UN forces with rocks, grenades and Molotov cocktails as they tried to remove protesters from inside the courthouse.

Belgrade has accused the peacekeepers of using excessive force against the demonstrators and sent a letter of complaint to the UN Secretary General, which has been reportedly received.

In turn, deputy UN administrator for Kosovo Larry Rossin said Serbia had either orchestrated the violence or at least failed to discourage Serbs from rioting.

More than 60 UN police and KFOR troops, and over 70 Serb protesters have been wounded in the worst outbreak of violence in the region since Kosovo unilaterally declared its independence on February 17.


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