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NATO Extends Deadline On Kosovo Roadblocks

One of the border crossings in northern Kosovo, after it was destroyed in violent protests in July
NATO peacekeepers in Kosovo have extended a deadline for Serbs to remove roadblocks in northern Kosovo.

A statement from the NATO-led Kosovo peacekeeping operation, KFOR, said KFOR commander General Erhard Drews had pushed back the deadline from October 17 to October 18 to give the Serbs more time to take down the barriers.

In July, Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leadership ordered its security forces to man two border crossings in northern Kosovo, populated mainly by ethnic Serbs who don't recognize Kosovo's independence.

Serbs responded by blocking roads with barriers, sparking clashes with Kosovo police and leaving one police officer dead.

In September, NATO used helicopters to bypass the barricades and establish a skeleton EU and Kosovo police and customs presence at the border gates.

But the roadblocks remain, in a challenge to the West's efforts to reverse Kosovo's de facto ethnic partition.

compiled from agency reports

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