Mitrovica, Kosovo; 15 March 2000 (RFE/RL) - Ethnic Serbs clashed with French peacekeepers today, vowing a civil disobedience campaign after NATO took control of the Serbian end of a key bridge in the divided town of Mitrovica. At least 15 Serbs and an undetermined number of peacekeepers and journalists were injured in the melee.
The conflict erupted after peacekeepers set-up a security zone around the bridge, which connects a northern district with the southern Albanian side of Mitrovica.
Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic criticized the UN mission in Kosovo today, saying it sponsored ethnic-Albanian extremists under orders from the U.S.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Ivan Kostov warned Hashim Thaci, the former leader of the disbanded Kosova Liberation Army, that tensions are escalating in three Serbian villages near the boundary with Kosovo. Kostov urged Thaci to use his influence to avoid a conflict in the villages of Presevo, Bujanovac, and Medvedja.