Serbian Reservists Clash With NATO

MERDARE, Kosovo -- Several hundred Serbian army reservists hurled stones at police and NATO-led peacekeepers Thursday as they crossed into Kosovo during a clash at a border checkpoint.

The demonstrators -- most wearing their uniforms and chanting "Kosovo is ours! Kosovo is Serbia!" -- threw rocks and burned tires to create a billowing smoke screen before surging past the checkpoint in Merdare, about 50 kilometers northeast of Kosovo's capital, Pristina.

UN police said the demonstrators, all army veterans who fought on the Serbian side in Kosovo's 1998-99 war, arrived from the Serbian town of Kursumlija in buses and brought a bulldozer.

"We are here in support of the Serbs who still live in Kosovo," said Dejan Milosevic, one of the organizers. "We want to tell them that we will not let Kosovo be taken away. We will fight to our last breath."