Sunday, December 04, 2005

US peacekeepers seal off Kosovo Serb village

Kosovska Kamenica, 3 December: US Kfor [NATO-led Kosovo Force] soldiers from the base in Gnjilane sealed off the Veliko Ropotovo village in the Kosovska Kamenica municipality since 0630 [0530 gmt] this morning.

As the chairman of SPO [Serbian Renewal Movement] municipal committee, Gradimir Mikic, told FoNet, US soldiers had not allowed anyone to enter or leave the village, and so a large column of vehicles was formed on the road accessing the village.

There have been no previous announcements of this blockade, Mikic said, and the US soldiers merely replied that they were "just doing their job" when the inhabitants had asked them what was going on.

Mikic added that a sergeant with the name Andalov written on his uniform had told them "this is not Serbia, this is Kosovo", adding that the soldier got into a political argument with local residents.

Following repeated appeals by local people, one lane on the road was unblocked so that cars carrying sick children and elderly people could reach the medical centre in Ranilug.

Kfor forces are currently in Veliko Ropotovo and several houses have been searched in the meantime.

Veliko Ropotovo is one of the largest Serb-populated villages in Kosovsko Pomoravlje area.

Source: FoNet news agency, Belgrade, in Serbian 1137 gmt 3 Dec 05

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