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Kosovo Lawmakers Disrupts Parliament Session With Tear Gas


Opposition lawmakers throw tear gas during a session of Kosovo's parliament in Pristina on October 8.

Opposition lawmakers throw tear gas during a session of Kosovo's parliament in Pristina on October 8.

Opposition lawmakers in Kosovo released tear gas into the parliament chamber on October 8 to protest the government’s recent deal with Serbia.

Two female members of parliament fainted and were taken to the hospital in wheelchairs, while ambulances outside the building offered first aid to those affected.

Reports said there were also loud whistles and insults from the opposition.

President Atifete Jahjaga denounced the "nasty actions of the opposition's lawmakers."

The head of the opposition Alliance for the Future of Kosovo, Ramush Haradinaj, warned of "even bigger actions than throwing tear gas” in the assembly chamber.

The opposition wants the government to backtrack from the EU-brokered agreement, saying it endangers Kosovo's territorial integrity. The deal grants more powers to the mainly Serb areas of Kosovo.

Kosovo, a former province of Serbia populated by mostly ethnic Albanians, declared independence in 2008 -- a move not recognized by Belgrade.

Under pressure from Brussels, Serbia and Albania have worked to normalize relations, with both aspiring to join the EU.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa
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