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Kosovars Seek Handover Of Rebels Killed In Macedonia


Hundreds of people, including relatives of ethnic Albanian Kosovo gunmen killed in clashes with Macedonian police this month, rallied in Pristina on May 20 calling for the return of their loved ones -- dead or alive.

Some 300 protesters who also included veterans from the 1998-99 conflict between Kosovo and Serbia, gathered outside the government headquarters carrying banners that read "Our Boys Are Liberators" and "Long Live Liberators."

Clashes in the northern Macedonia town of Kumanovo between police and ethnic Albanian gunmen, many of whom were from neighboring Kosovo, left 18 people dead, including eight police officers, earlier this month.

Macedonia said the gunmen were "terrorists" and claimed they were planning to attack state institutions.

Police arrested 30 alleged gunmen of ethnic Albanian origin, including 18 from Kosovo, and charged them with terrorism.

Ethnic Albanians make up around one-quarter of Macedonia's 2.1 million population.

Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians make 90 percent of its 1.8 million people, unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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