NATO to send extra troops to Kosovo


NATO will send hundreds more troops to Kosovo after an escalation of violence there between ethnic Albanians and Serbs last week, NATO officials said on Tuesday. A battalion of troops, mainly from Germany and Austria, will join the Kosovo Security Force KFOR in coming days, the officials in Brussels and Pristina said. “The reason for the deployment is to relieve forces currently engaged in maintaining security,” NATO spokeswoman Carmen Romero said.
“It’s not that the situation has gotten worse, but that KFOR troops have been very active and the commander considers the troops need to be relieved.” NATO’s force in Kosovo currently numbers nearly 6,000. Diplomats said the reserve battalion that has been kept on standby in Germany consists of 600 German troops and 100 Austrians. Violence flared last week after Kosovo sent ethnic Albanian special police units to border posts that had been staffed mostly by ethnic Serbs to enforce a ban on imports from Serbia.