Opposition protest turns violent in Kosovo

Thousands of demonstrators clash with police forces, set fire to government headquarters

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Police spray water cannons at protesters during clashes in Pristina, Kosovo January 9, 2016

Anti government protesters clashed with police in the capital of Kosovo on Saturday, setting fire to government headquarters.

Several thousand opposition demonstrators threw petrol bombs and stones at security forces in the country’s capital Pristina, forcing police to use tear gas to drive them back. Following the rise of the tension, security forces pursued the demonstrators who were acting violently.

Tension broke out after the European Union brokered a deal to increase the local powers of Kosovo's ethnic Serb minority and also give them the possibility of financing from Belgrade.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 after Serbian security forces killed and expelled ethnic Albanian civilians during a counter-insurgency war.

Serbia has not accepted Kosovo’s independence since NATO air strikes drove out its security forces from the country. The European Union calls on both sides to regularise their relations if they want to be accepted as a member of the bloc.  

TRTWorld and agencies