Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Monday, 3 March 2008

Serbia 'retakes' Kosovo rail line


Serbia has retaken control of a stretch of railway line in northern Kosovo, a senior Serb official has said.

Branislav Ristivojevic, who heads Serbia's state-run railway company, said Belgrade had restored control over the 50km (30-mile) Lesak-Zvecan line.

Earlier, Serb rail workers stopped a train on the line, saying they would not work for Kosovo's rail firms.

Belgrade and Kosovo Serbs refuse to recognise Kosovo's declaration of independence last month.

Last week, some 150 Kosovo Serb police officers were suspended for refusing to take orders from the ethnic Albanian authorities in Kosovo's capital, Pristina.

Kosovo Serb police protest in Gracanica on 29 February
Serb police officers protested in the Gracanica enclave

All are based in the same area of the south-east and they are asking to be put under the direct command of the local United Nations mission (Unmik).

The Kosovo Police Service (KPS) said talks were under way with Serb officers working in other parts of the south.

Serb KPS officers in the northern Serb stronghold around Mitrovica already only take orders from Unmik.

Some 700 ethnic Serbs serve in the 7,000-strong KPS, created by Unmik after it took control of Kosovo at the end of the 1998-99 war.

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