Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Mitrovica Bridge Closes After Protests

The main bridge connecting the Albanian and Serbian communities of Mitrovica has closed to civilian traffic after angry Serbs protested the stabbing of a youth on the bridge.  A 19-year-old youth, identified as Milosav Ilinicic, was reportedly stabbed three times while standing with his girlfriend on the northern side of the bridge.  Reports are that two KPS officers were nearby when the stabbing occurred and later news is that two KPS officers were dismissed for not doing their duty.  The attackers are currently identified as being from the prominently Albanian south-side of Mitrovica and supposedly ran back across the bridge. 
Politicians are condemning the attack but the closure and protests come at a bad time for Kosovo as the Albanians have just been warned that they need to protect minority rights and are refusing the partition of Mitrovica as suggested by Serbia.