Albanian protesters spray-painting U.N. mission cars in Kosovo

Police in Kosovo on Wednesday used pepper spray to disperse dozens of ethnic Albanian protesters spray-painting United Nations vehicles with anti-U.N. slogans. Several dozen were arrested. About 100 demonstrators wearing white T-shirts painted the Albanian word for "the end" on several U.N. cars parked near the U.N. mission headquarters in Kosovo's capital, Pristina.

Police arrested dozens of youths, including former student leader Albin Kurti.

The demonstration was organized by a group called Self-determination, which has staged regular protests to demand that the United Nations leave Kosovo. The group is also pressing for the province's independence from Serbia and rejects the idea of negotiations over Kosovo's future status with Serbia.

Kurti, the leader of the group, was jailed by Serb authorities during the crackdown by former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's forces on ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo. He spent several years in prison.

Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations since a 1999 NATO air war halted the Serb offensive.

There are around 3,000 U.N. police serving alongside 7,000 members of the fledgling Kosovo Police Service.

The province's status remains disputed. The ethnic Albanian majority wants independence, while Serbs living in Kosovo demand that it remain part of Serbia. Talks to determine Kosovo's future are expected to take place later this year.


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