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Kosovo tightens border security over claims police were 'kidnapped'

Lorry on Kosovo border
Lorry on Kosovo border Copyright euronews Serbien
Copyright euronews Serbien
By Philip Andrew ChurmAnđelka Ćup
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Kosovo has tightened its border controls after claims three police officers were kidnapped by Serbian forces but Belgrade has rejected the suggestion.

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Trucks with Serbian number plates are being stopped from entering Kosovo regardless of whether they are empty or carrying goods.

The move follows the arrest of three Kosovo police officers by the Serbian police. 

Kosovan authorities claimed they were "kidnapped inside Kosovo’s territory” while Belgrade said they were “arrested” in Serbian territory.

Prime Minister Albin Kurti criticised NATO-led international peacekeepers for not providing an official explanation of what happened to the three border police officers. 

Speaking at a news conference, Kurti showed maps of where the incident allegedly occurred, saying that Serbia’s special police and army units had entered deep into Kosovo territory.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said the Kosovo police officers were arrested deep inside Serbia and asked what they were doing in Serbian territory armed with machine guns.

Kidnapping has been used as a method of protecting criminals in the past.

Serbia and its former province Kosovo have been at odds for decades, with Belgrade refusing to recognise Kosovo’s 2008 declaration of independence. 

The latest violence near their shared border has stirred fears of a renewal of a 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo that claimed more than 10,000 lives, mostly ethnic Albanians.

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