New riots expected in Kosovo

The Norwegian troops are prepared for new clashes with furious Kosovo Albanians today. The soldiers were forced to shoot in self defense Wednesday, and one Albanian was killed.

The Norwegian troops are in position and expect new riots today, stated Tor Idsøe, press officer at Forsvarets overkommando at Jåtta, to TV 2 Nettavisen Thursday morning.

The 250 Norwegian soldiers are stationed south of Pristina in the middle of Kosovo. The riots started in Motrovica in the far north Wednesday after two Albanian children drowned earlier this week. Albanians claim Serbs were chasing the children before they died. Mitrovica experienced the worst riots Wednesday, as at least ten people were killed in the violent clashes between Serbs and Albanians.

Fired in self defense
However, some miles further south, Norwegian soldiers also noticed the hate between the ethnic groups had not yet disappeared. The Norwegian soldiers, who are present to assure that Kosovo Albanians do not enter into the Serbian part of the country, had to fire in self defense when Albanians attacked. One Kosovo Albanian was killed and close to 20 Norwegians were injured in the attack.

«No one was seriously injured,» Idsøe said. «One Norwegian was checked for head injuries at a German field-hospital, but he had no fractures.»

According to Col. Nils Hanheide, the spirit was high among the Norwegian troops Thursday morning.

«After a hectic day yesterday, the soldiers have recuperated a little,» Hanheide said. «The Norwegian troops are now in good spirits.»

Idsøe said that the Norwegian soldiers are well equipped to meet such furious masses that attacked the soldiers Wednesday.

«This is what they are educated and trained for,» Idsøe said. «The Norwegian soldiers are specialists at handling riots, and they are equipped with armored vehicles and shields.»

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