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Serbian PM Cites 'New Battle' for Kosovo


Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica says a new battle is being fought with the United States for control of Kosovo province. His comments Thursday came as hundreds of Serb hardliners marched in the contested province to commemorate the anniversary of a 600-year-old Serb battle of Kosovo with Ottoman Turks.

Mr. Kostunica's comments were published Thursday, as hundreds of Serb hardliners marched in the contested province to commemorate the 1389 battle.

Special police secured the march route to a towering monument marking the battle, hoping to avoid clashes with Kosovo's independence-minded ethnic Albanian majority.

U.S. support for Kosovo independence has angered Serbia. Mr. Kostunica warned Monday of worsening relations with Washington over the dispute.

The United States and European countries have backed U.N. proposals to grant Kosovo, and its ethnic Albanian majority, internationally supervised independence. Russia strongly backs Serbian opposition to the plan and has threatened a possible U.N Security Council veto

The United Nations has administered Kosovo since 1999, when NATO air strikes halted Belgrade's crackdown on ethnic Albanians in the area.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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