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Bulgaria, Hungary, Croatia to Recognize Independent Kosovo

Bulgaria, Hungary and Croatia say they will recognize Kosovo's independence.

The three countries made the announcement Wednesday in a joint statement, saying their decision was based on thorough consideration.

On Tuesday, Canada and Japan recognized Kosovo's independence, prompting Serbia to immediately recall its ambassadors from both countries.

Earlier Tuesday, French NATO troops fired grenades to disperse rock-throwing Serbs in the ethnically-divided northern Kosovo city of Mitrovica.

Violence erupted in the city Monday when U.N. police and NATO peacekeepers evicted Serbs who seized a United Nations court. The riots left a Ukrainian U.N. peacekeeper dead and more than 100 people wounded.

The deputy head of the U.N. mission in Kosovo, Larry Rossin, called Monday's violence "orchestrated." He criticized Serbian leaders for failing to prevent it.

Kosovo and its 90 percent ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia last month. Thirty-one countries have recognized Kosovo as an independent country.

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