PRISTINA, Kosovo, Aug. 16 (UPI) — A commander of NATO-led forces in Kosovo has told villagers in the Serb enclave of Priluzje he can’t stop the construction of a bridge over the Sitnica River.
However, Erhard Buehler assured the group his troops would be there permanently to provide security, Serbian broadcaster B92 reported Tuesday.
The protesters said they feared a bridge connecting their enclave with villages populated by ethnic Albanians would lead to an escalation of violence.
B92 was told Serbs feared for their safety, and noted while a previous bridge over the river was open, the group faced “serious problems” caused by ethnic Albanians.
Two Serb enclaves near Priluzje, Ranilug and Silovo, suffered a disruption of bus service, the Serbian news agency Tanjug reported Tuesday.
A bus with 40 passengers was stopped at an administrative line between central Serbia and Kosovo Monday and was not allowed to enter Kosovo.
The manager of the Belgrade bus company said private cars and vans had to be called to transport passengers.