Kosovo special police forces guarded official buildings in the northern town of Zvečan on Saturday after clashes erupted between police and protesters in the majority Serb town on Friday night.
Police fired tear gas to disperse a crowd trying to prevent a newly-elected mayor from entering his office after a vote in April was boycotted by the Kosovo Serb majority in four northern municipalities near the border with Serbia.
#BREAKING #KOSOVO #SERBIA
🔴 KOSOVO :#VIDEO CLASHES BETWEEN POLICE AND ETHNIC SERBIAN PROTESTERS IN ZVECAN, KOSOVO,
who had tried to prevent a new ethnic Albanian mayor from entering his office on May 26.
10 people injured. #BreakingNews #UltimaHora #Zvecan #Clashes pic.twitter.com/sVR2YJu2NN
— LoveWorld (@LoveWorld_Peopl) May 27, 2023
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić placed the army on full combat alert and ordered units to move closer to the border with Kosovo following the clashes.
Serbian soldiers ordered at Kosovo border after protest clashes
The United States and allies rebuked Kosovo for escalating tensions with Serbia, saying the use of force to install mayors in ethnic Serb areas undermined efforts to improve troubled relations with neighboring Serbia.
Britain, France, Italy, Germany, and the United States issued a joint statement that called on Kosovan authorities to step back and de-escalate the situation.
Ethnic Albanians form more than 90% of the population in Kosovo, with Serbs only the majority in the northern region.