By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — NATO troops have clashed with hundreds of ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo.
NATO troops are reported to have moved in around midnight to take down a barricade, erected by local Serbs to block Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian leadership from asserting control in the area.
Reports say NATO troops fired tear gas as Serbs responded to siren calls to defend the barricade.
One report spoke of gunfire being heard in the main town of Mitrovica.
Reuters says crowds of Serbs forced back Portuguese and Hungarian NATO troops who had approached on foot near the northern town of Zvecan.
There has been no word on the incident yet from NATO.
The European Union has urged Serbia to do more to resolve the standoff in northern Kosovo if it is to clinch candidate status for future membership of the EU.
Serbs erected dozens of roadblocks in July when the government of Kosovo said it would man border posts in the mainly Serb north.
Many Serbs that live there reject the country’s 2008 secession from Serbia and say NATO is supporting Kosovo institutions.