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Ethnic Serbs Knock Down Wall Dividing City In Kosovo

Ethnic Serbs in the northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica have used bulldozers to knock down a wall that divided the city and raised tensions between Kosovo and Serbia in recent days.

The action on February 5 came after an agreement between the Kosovar government and the country’s ethnic Serbian minority, aided by the U.S. Embassy and the European Union.

Kosovo's Prime Minister Isa Mustafa had threatened the local Serbs that if they did not take down the wall, his government would.

No details were immediately available on the terms of any agreement that might have been reached.

The activity was monitored by Italian Carabinieri guarding the area as part of the NATO peacekeeping force stationed in Kosovo.

The Serbs began building the wall in December.

They said it was to protect a riverside promenade from landslide, but the government in Pristina said it was an attempt to further divide the city along ethnic lines.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Serbia has not recognized it as a separate country.

The United States and most Western states are among 114 countries that recognize Kosovo's independence. Russia does not recognize Kosovo as independent.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters