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Kosovo: Civil Disorder

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the civil unrest in Mitrovica on 18 March; and if he will make a statement. (197084)

Our embassy in Pristina provided detailed reporting on the disturbances in Mitrovica on 17 March 2008. We understand that the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) will be carrying out an investigation into the events of the day.

On the morning of 17 March, UN police entered the UN court building in Mitrovica to arrest Kosovo Serb protestors who had occupied the building on 14 March. In response, Kosovo Serbs attacked UNMIK police and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO Kosovo Force (KFOR)) troops, including with grenades and small arms fire. 25 UNMIK police officers and 22 KFOR troops were injured and one Ukrainian police officer was killed. Serbian media report that around 70 Kosovo Serb civilians were injured. We have strongly condemned the violent disturbances directed against UN and NATO personnel. The situation is currently calm but tense in northern Kosovo and stable elsewhere. Our embassy in Pristina continues to monitor the situation on the ground in Northern Kosovo.