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NATO Braces for Unrest in Kosovo After Prime Minister Indicted for War Crimes


NATO has sent extra troops into Kosovo in case of ethnic unrest, following the war crimes indictment of Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. The Kosovo leader has stepped down saying he plans to surrender to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague.

Kosovo's prime minister resigned Tuesday after being indicted by the U.N. war crimes tribunal for his alleged role in the 1988-1989 Kosovo conflict. He has said he will hand himself in voluntarily on Wednesday.

Mr. Haradinaj has said he is ready to fully cooperate with the international court. While denying Serb accusations that his men committed atrocities against Serb civilians, he has said he will travel to The Hague to answer any charges.

U.N. war crimes investigators questioned him late last year about his role in the Kosovo conflict.

Thirty six-year-old Ramush Haradinaj was a former commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). He led ethnic Albanian guerrillas in their fight against the Serbs in Kosovo's western region.

In December 2004 he became Kosovo's prime minister. He heads Kosovo's third largest party, the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo - an offshoot of the political successor to the KLA.

Mr. Haradinaj has asked Deputy Prime Minister Adem Salihaj to take his post until a new prime minister is appointed.

Security in Kosovo has been stepped up this week. Five hundred British troops were flown into Pristina Monday night. A spokesperson for the NATO-led peacekeeping force, KFOR, said there have been indications that security is not as good as desired.

Twenty thousand troops are stationed in Kosovo where ethnic tensions continue nearly six years after the end of the conflict.

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