2 Serbs sentenced over an attack on NATO-led peacekeepers in Kosovo

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — A Kosovo court on Tuesday sentenced two ethnic Serbs to six-month jail terms for attacking NATO-led peacekeepers a year ago.

But one of them will be released for time served, and the other can avoid jail time if he pays a 6,000 euro ($6,500) fine.

Local media named them as Radosh Petrovic and Dusan Obrenovic, who had attacked KFOR troops in Zvecan, a municipality in Kosovo’s north, where most of the ethnic Serb minority lives.

In May, in a dispute over the validity of local elections in the Serbian minority-dominated part of northern Kosovo, Serbs clashed with security forces, including NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers working there, injuring 93 troops.

In September, a Kosovo police officer and three Serb gunmen were killed in a shootout after about 30 masked men opened fire on a police patrol near the Kosovo village of Banjska.

Serbia doesn’t recognize Kosovo’s formal declaration of independence in 2008. Both countries want to join the European Union, which is mediating a dialogue between the former foes. Brussels has warned both that refusal to compromise jeopardizes their chances of joining the bloc.

In 1999, a 78-day NATO bombing campaign ended a war between Serbian government forces and ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo. Serbian forces were pushed out but Belgrade still considers it a Serbian province.

The EU’s brokered negotiations between Serbia and Kosovo to normalize their relations have showed slow progress, while occasional violence has fueled fears of instability in the Balkans as Russia full-scale war rages in Ukraine.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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