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Kosovo's Serbs Defy Belgrade, EU With Referendum


A Kosovo Serb woman with her child casts her ballot at a poling station in Kosovska Mitrovica on February 15.

A Kosovo Serb woman with her child casts her ballot at a poling station in Kosovska Mitrovica on February 15.

Serbs in northern Kosovo have voted in a second day of a referendum that is likely to overwhelmingly reject the authority of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian government.

The referendum, which asks voters whether they accept Pristina's institutions, was held ahead of the fourth anniversary on February 17 of Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence, which Kosovo's Serbs and Serbia do not recognize.

The vote has no legal weight, but is likely to further complicate the EU-sponsored dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and Serbia's efforts to eventually join the European Union.

Both the EU and Belgrade have called on Kosovo Serbs not to hold the vote.

Kosovo Serb authorities said turnout among the some 35,000 voters was more than 60 percent three hours before polls closed.

Results are expected later this week.

Compiled from agency reports

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