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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 February 2007, 12:40 GMT
Two dead following Kosovo clashes
Ethnic Albanian protesters in Pristina on 10 February 2007
Many ethnic Albanians demand an outright independence
Two people have died overnight following clashes in Kosovo between ethnic Albanian protesters and police.

They were among four people seriously wounded when United Nations and local police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse some 3,000 protesters.

The crowd in Pristina was protesting against a UN plan on the future status of Serbia's province.

Many ethnic Albanians are unhappy that the plan falls short of granting full independence for Kosovo.

The proposals, unveiled on 2 February by chief UN envoy Martti Ahtisaari instead recommends a form of self-rule - which is itself strongly opposed by Serbia.

The UN has agreed to delay talks on its proposals until 21 February, at the request of Serbian President Boris Tadic.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday again warned that Moscow would not back any solution for Kosovo that was not also acceptable to Belgrade.

'No negotiation'

The ethnic Albanian demonstrators gathered near the provincial government building in Pristina.

BBC map
Many of them chanted: "No negotiation. Self-determination", demanding a referendum on independence.

The UN police fired tear gas after the protesters tried to approach the government building.

About 80 people were injured and more than a dozen demonstrators were arrested.

The protest was organised by the Kosovo Albanian group Self Determination, which advocates immediate independence for the province and the withdrawal of the international community.

Mr Ahtisaari has proposed allowing Kosovo to adopt a constitution, a flag, a national anthem and apply for membership of international organisations.

But many ethnic Albanians - who comprise some 90% of Kosovo's two million people - want an outright independence.

Mr Ahtisaari's plan also envisages that Kosovo's Serb minority would have a high degree of control over its own affairs.

Kosovo has been administered by the UN since 1999, after a Nato bombing campaign drove Serbian troops from the province.


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