Kosovo celebrates 5 years since contested secession from Serbia

Published February 17, 2013

| Associated Press

Ethnic Albanians in Kosovo are celebrating the fifth anniversary of their declaration of independence from Serbia with a parade of police and armed forces in the main square of Pristina, the capital.

It's the first time such forces have been used in a parade since the end of the 1998-99 war with Serbia.

Kosovo's lightly armed Kosovo Security Force paraded on Sunday in armored vehicles alongside firefighters and special police units wearing masks to conceal their identities. The NATO-trained force has 2,500 members and wants to become an army, but alliance members such as Greece and Spain oppose that because they reject Kosovo's independence.

Ninety-six nations have recognized Kosovo's independence, but Serbia claims the territory as its own. The European Union is currently mediating talks between the two former foes.

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