Hundreds of Serbs smashed down gates at two United Nations-run courthouses in northern Kosovo yesterday and stormed the buildings, AFP reports. The mob, opposed to Kosovo's independence, hauled down the UN flag and hoisted the Serbian one. They clashed with UN police, pelting them with rocks and metal objects. NATO's secretary-general condemned the violence as an unacceptable provocation.
The Serb militants said they wanted to set up their own court for Kosovo's Serbs. The chief of the UN's Kosovo mission said police had been ordered "to restore law and order" and "ensure that the court house is again under UN control," while Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders urged the UN to "pull the hooligans out of the building." The court buildings have been a focus for Serb protests since Kosovo declared independence last month.