Europe

Ethnic clash in Kosovo after Serb basketball defeat

Clashes in Mitrovica
Image caption The clashes followed Serbia's defeat in the basketball world championships in Turkey

There have been clashes in the Kosovan city of Mitrovica after Albanians jeered Serbs following Serbian defeat in an international basketball game.

Mobs from the city's divided Albanian and Serbian populations hurled stones at each other over the river that runs through the city.

The two groups were prevented from reaching each other over a bridge by a European Union police force.

One policeman was injured and several police vehicles were damaged.

The city remains bitterly divided 10 years after the end of the Kosovo war.

Hail of stones

The clashes came after the Serbian national basketball team were defeated by Turkey in the semi-finals of the basketball world championship in Istanbul.

A mob from the Albanian side of the Ibar river tried to march over the bridge between the two sides, shouting "Turkey Turkey!", witnesses said.

They were met by a hail of stones from the Serbian side.

"Luckily there was no direct clash between the two communities," police spokesman Besim Hoti said.

The EU police force was called in to help local officers keep the two groups apart.

One French police officer was shot in the leg, the Associated Press reported.

Mitrovica was divided into two parts 11 years ago when peacekeepers sought to protect Serbs living in the city from Albanians trying to get revenge for attacks by Serbian troops during the war.

Subsequent attempts at reconciliation have so far failed.

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