NATO to send additional 700 troops to Kosovo over clashes


The NATO chief on Tuesday announced the deployment of an additional 700 troops in Kosovo due to the ongoing tensions.

The alliance will put a battalion from the reserve force on heightened alert so it can be also be deployed if needed, Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference along with Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store.

Stoltenberg urged that attacks in Kosova “must stop.”

His remarks came after at least 30 NATO soldiers were injured in clashes.

Eleven Italian and 19 Hungarian soldiers with the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo (KFOR) sustained multiple injuries, including fractures and burns from improvised explosive incendiary devices.

Three Hungarian soldiers were also wounded by firearms, but their injuries are not life-threatening, KFOR said on Tuesday.

The injured personnel are currently under observation at a health facility.

Tensions have gripped Kosovo with protesters and security forces clashing in the northern Serb-dominated municipalities over the election of ethnic Albanian mayors.

Albanians are the largest ethnic group in Kosovo, followed by Serbs, especially in the north, near the border with Serbia.

Meanwhile, more than 53 civilians were injured from shock bombs and tear gas, according to hospital sources.

Sweden’s NATO membership ‘possible’ before July summit

On Sweden’s bid to join NATO, Stoltenberg said such decision is “absolutely possible” before the June 11-12 NATO Summit in Lithuania.

Sweden’s membership would be good for the whole alliance, he noted, saying that if the will is there, six weeks is “long enough” to make it happen.

He also shared a tweet following the presser, and said: “I am in close contact with Turkish authorities to ensure Sweden joins as soon as possible.”

Sweden passed an anti-terror law last November, hoping that Ankara would approve Stockholm’s bid to join NATO. The new law, which goes into force on June 1, will allow authorities to prosecute individuals who support terrorist groups.__The Nation