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Kosovar Police Raid Facilities Used By Serbia's Red Cross

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic
Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic

Police in Kosovo say they have raided premises used by Serbia's Red Cross in the country, confiscating documents suspected of being used to conduct an illegal census of ethnic Serbs.

A September 14 statement said some employees were also questioned during the raids, which were carried out the previous day.

It said some people in the organization were believed to have used the documents "for the registration of population...contrary to the legal dispositions, as the population census is held by Kosovo's competent institutions."

The statement also said that some police officers were injured when attacked during a raid conducted in the northern city of Mitrovica.

No arrests were made.

There was no immediate comment from the Red Cross of Serbia, a branch of the international Red Cross that also works in Kosovo to support the ethnic Serb minority there.

However, Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said the raids were part of "the continuation of pressure against [Kosovar] Serbs."

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade doesn't recognize the move.

The European Union has urged Pristina and Belgrade -- both with desires of joining the EU -- to normalize relations and is sponsoring talks in hopes of ending years of hostility.

With reporting by AP