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Kosovo Deploys Police To Serbia Border Crossings

Kosovo authorities have deployed special police units to two border crossings with Serbia in a bid to enforce a new ban by Kosovo on imports from Serbia.

Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi announced that police had been deployed July 25 to the crossings in the Serb-majority northern part of Kosovo.

Reports said the Kosovo police had been able to take control of one checkpoint -- but local Serbs were trying to block access by the police to the other crossing.

Reports speak of heightened tensions in connection with the effort by Kosovo authorities to take control of the checkpoints.

Kosovo authorities banned imports of Serbian goods last week in a measure aimed at countering the Serbian embargo imposed on Kosovo after the 2008 declaration of independence by Kosovo's ethnic-Albanian majority leadership.

Kosovo has said the Serbian embargo is unacceptable.

More than 70 countries have recognized Kosovo's independence, including the United States and most of the European Union -- but Serbia, backed by Russia, continues to regard Kosovo as part of Serbian territory and says it will never recognize Kosovo independence.

compiled from agency reports