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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Blockade Lifted In Kosovo Town




ORAHOVAC, Yugoslavia -- Easing a three-month standoff, anti-Russian protesters in Kosovo dismantled parts of a barricade surrounding Orahovac on Monday, allowing free passage for much-needed humanitarian aid.


Dozens of people knocked down tents and pushed trees, trucks and tractors out of the center of the roadway, which had been blocked for three months to protest NATO's decision to station Russian forces in the town.


People in Orahovac, 75 kilometers from Pristina, claimed that Russian mercenaries helped Serb forces loyal to Slobodan Milosevic commit atrocities during the Yugoslav president's 18-month crackdown on ethnic Albanian militants.


Under the deal, representatives of the protesters said that NATO peacekeepers guaranteed that Russian forces would not be allowed to enter the town.


NATO peacekeepers, however, said the presence of Russian troops was not part of the deal that partially lifted the barricade.


A spokesman for the protesters said the demonstrators struck a verbal deal with NATO peacekeepers and the UN mission in Kosovo to clear all but one of the blocked roads leading to the town.