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Serbs In Kosovo Again Block Mitrovica Bridge

Local ethnic Serbs shovel soil to form a barricade on the main bridge in the ethnically divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica. Earlier this week a barricade on the bridge had been removed in what seemed to be the latest hint of a tentative thaw with their Albanian neighbors. But the bridge was then blocked again a a day later with concrete pots and earth.
Serbs in Kosovo have again blocked a bridge in the divided town of Mitrovica, one day after removing a barricade across the span.

Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci condemned what he called a "shameful act" and said that "sooner or later" those responsible would face justice.

He called on local Serb leaders "to be reasonable" and remove the barrier, consisting of shrubs planted in concrete flower beds.

Mitrovica is divided between Serbs and ethnic Albanians on either side of the Ibar River.

Serbia, and Serbs in northern Kosovo, reject the independence that majority-ethnic Albanian Kosovo declared from Serbia in 2008.

Serbs from northern Mitrovica had erected the barricade of earth and concrete blocks across the bridge in 2011.

It was removed on June 18 under an EU-brokered deal to normalize ties between Serbia and Kosovo.

The mayor of the Serb part of Mitrovica, Goran Rakic, said the idea was to eventually create a "peace park" on the bridge.

With reporting by B92