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Kosovo war veterans clash with police in protest for higher pensions

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By AP
Police say the protesters "tried to enter by force and damage the Parliament building doors".
Police say the protesters "tried to enter by force and damage the Parliament building doors".   -   Copyright  ATV via AP

Hundreds of protesting Kosovo war veterans have clashed with police as they tried to enter parliament to call for a pension rise.

At least three people -- including two police officers -- were injured in the demonstrations, which took place as Kosovar lawmakers were discussing a draft law on raising the minimum salary from €170 to €250 per month.

Police used tear gas and pepper spray to keep members of the War Veterans’ Organisation of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) away from the parliament during the debate.

More than 30,000 war veterans currently receive €170 per month but are excluded from the proposed law, which did not pass on Monday.

Protesters say that the government has failed to compensate nearly 50,000 registered war veterans for their previous service.

Many of those at the protest waved flags of the former KLA, which led the country's breakaway from Serbia during the 1998-1999 war.

Kosovo declared its independence in 2008 -- a move recognised by the United States and most of the West, but not by Belgrade and its allies Russia and China.