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Posted at 02:10 PM ET, 07/26/2011

Kosovo-Serbia tensions grow after police wounded in ambush


Kosovo Serbs set up a blockade on the Leposavic-Mitrovica road as a response to the capturing of two border crossings by Kosovo police, who seek to enforce an embargo of Serbian goods. (Sasa Djordjevic/AFP/Getty Images)

Update: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified the number of Serbs living in Kosovo. Around 1,825,632 people live in Kosovo, according to the 2008 CIA Factbook, about 8 percent of whom are identified as either Serb, Bosniak, Gorani, Roma, Turk, Ashkali, or Egyptian. We apologize for the error.

The tensions between the two neighboring countries of Kosovo and Serbia have flared up once more, as the two nations face each other in an embargo standoff.

Already, one police officer was seriously wounded in Kosovo after an ambush by local Serbs broke out into a firefight. Kosovo and Serbia split in 2008, though Serbia does not recognize the secession of the country and there are some Serbs who still live in Kosovo and refuse to recognize Kosovo as an independent nation.

As a result of Kosovo’s declared independence, Serbia imposed an embargo. Last week, Kosovo returned the volley by banning Serbian goods. On Monday, Kosovar special police units launched an operation to take control of two border crossings.

The Associated Press says that there have been reports of shootouts between police and local Serbs throughout the day, but the claims could not be independently verified.

Seventy-seven countries, including the United States, recognize Kosovo, but without Serbia’s recognition, it has been unable to join the European Union. The United Nations and the E.U. have criticized Kosovo’s police action.

The conflict threatens talks between the two countries.

By  |  02:10 PM ET, 07/26/2011

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