Serbs mark Kosovo Battle anniversary
Thousands of ethnic Serbs peacefully marked in Kosovo Sunday the Vidovdan Day or St. Vitus's Day to commemorate the 620th anniversary of the Kosovo Battle against the Ottoman Empire, Xinhua reported.
Three ministers of the Serbian government attended the memorial held in Gazimestan site near Kosovo capital Pristina for the Serbian heroes who fell defending the state from the invading Ottoman Turks in 1389.
Goran Bogdanovic, Serbian minister for Kosovo, sent a massage for peace and compromise for the people of Kosovo, claiming it's a "time of sacrifice for Serbia in the material and spiritual aspects."
Bogdanovic said Serbia would fight for the preservation of Kosovo within Serbia by all diplomatic and legal means.
A Serbian province dominated by ethnic Albanians, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia in February 2008. It has been recognized by 60 countries, but Serbia says it will never do so.
The celebration happened in the shadow of some local Serbs mistrust in the Serbian government, as Belgrade does not support the protest of local Serbs in northern Kosovo against the EU Rule of Law Mission (EULEX). Protesters threw stones at the Bogdanovic' s escort in Leposavic on Friday, frustrated with his comments against the protest.
Kosovo police and NATO-led peacekeeping forces in Kosovo (KFOR) applied security measures to avoid incidents on Sunday.
Dozens of buses brought to Kosovo citizens from Serbia, Montenegro and other areas.
Kosovo police spokesman Arber Beka said no incidents had happened during the festivities of Kosovo Battle although the number of people attending reached the highest in recent years.