K. Albanian group, police clash near crossingSource: B92, Kosovapress
MERDARE -- Kosovo police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse Self-Determination Movement members near Podujevo around 14:30 CET.
Priština-based news agency KosovaPress has reported that several protesters were arrested, including the group’s leader Albin Kurti.
Additional police forces are arriving to Podujevo where clashes are still underway.
The Self-Determination Movement supporters first asked the police to let them go to the Merdare crossing, claiming they had nothing against them but against Serbia.
“Go and use force in Serbia, not against us,” the protesters yelled at the police.
The first clashes took place around 13:00 CET when protesters tried to force their way through a police cordon at the Podujevo-Merdare road.
The Kosovo police used pepper spray while the protesters threw rocks and snowballs at them.
The police cordon stopped the Self-Determination Movement members on the Podujevo-Merdare road and prevented them from reaching the Merdare administrative crossing.
Kurti explained earlier that they would only block trucks carrying goods from central Serbia to Kosovo and added that that people would be able to cross the administrative line without any problems.
“Our goal is to establish reciprocity in relations with Serbia,” he stressed.
Strong police forces are present on the road leading toward the Merdare and Bela Zemlja crossings and they are controlling all vehicles.
Trucks carrying goods from central Serbia are waiting on the central Serbian side of the Merdare crossing. A truck from Subotica, escorted by the police, was allowed to go through a little before 13:00.