Serbia puts troops on high alert near border with Kosovo after raids

Kosovo broke away from Serbia following a U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign in 1999 and declared independence in 2008.

A special police unit near the village of Cabra, Kosovo, during an operation on Tuesday.Visar Kryeziu / AP

Tensions flared in the Balkans on Tuesday after police in Kosovo raided Serb-populated areas.

Dozens of people were arrested, including a Serbian and a Russian working for the United Nations, officials said. Some 90 percent of people living in Kosovo are ethnically Albanian, with ethnic Serbs making up a tiny minority.

In response, neighboring Serbia ordered its troops near the border to be on high alert, and said it would be ready to protect its people if necessary.

Authorities said Tuesday’s operation targeted organized crime and smuggling, which is rampant in the area following a 100 percent tariff on all Serbian goods was imposed by Kosovo last year.

Kosovo police said in a statement they were met with resistance during the raid, with locals setting up barricades and two officers being shot and injured.

Kosovo broke away from Serbia following a U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign in 1999 and declared independence in 2008.

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About Cholo Brooks 13507 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.