Kosovo's bloody war for independence ended with a 78-day NATO air campaign in June 1999, which stopped a bloody Serbian crackdown against ethnic Albanian separatists.

Kosovo is to celebrate its 10th year of independence from Serbia on Saturday. February 2, 2018
Kosovo is to celebrate its 10th year of independence from Serbia on Saturday. February 2, 2018 (AP)

Kosovo will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its declaration of independence from Serbia on Saturday, February 17.

Serbia effectively lost control over Kosovo in 1999, after NATO bombed Serb forces to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians from the region during a 1998-99 counter-insurgency war.

Kosovo has been recognised by 115 countries, including 23 of the 28 EU members. Its UN membership has been blocked by Serbia's allies Russia and China.

Around 120,000 Serbs who live in Kosovo still consider Belgrade their capital, and are financially supported by Serbia.

TRT World's Iolo ap Dafydd reports from Mitrovica where Kosovar Albanians are preparing to celebrate their 10th year of independence.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies