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Kosovo Police Injured as Ethnic-Albanian Protesters Block Border

Jan. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Ten Kosovo police officers were injured and 18 protesters arrested on the border with Serbia after an ethnic-Albanian group sought to block trucks from Serbia entering the Balkan country.

The police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of members of the Self-Determination movement, which blocked the road near a crossing point between Kosovo and Serbia, police in the capital Pristina said in an e-mailed statement today. The group led by Albin Kurti has called on citizens to prevent all Serbian products entering the territory of Kosovo at two border crossings.

Kosovo, which declared independence in 2008, is attempting to mend ties with its former ruler Serbia in talks under the auspices of the European Union as the two nations both seek closer relations with the 27-member block. Serbia, the largest of the former Yugoslav nations, failed to win EU candidate status in December because of continued tensions with Kosovo.

The U.S. Embassy in Pristina advised its citizens to avoid traveling through the affected border crossings because protests “can become violent and unpredictable,” it said in a statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bekim Greicevci in Pristina at bgreicevci@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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