Serbs in tense Kosovo town of Mitrovica remove roadblock from main bridge

NATO in Kosovo says minority Serbs have used trucks and bulldozers to dismantle a roadblock in the tense city of Mitrovica put up almost three years ago to stop ethnic Albanians authorities from extending authority over the Serb-run north.

The spokesman for the force, Col. Angelo Morcella said the Serbs decided on their own to remove the roadblock, a mound of earth reinforced with concrete barriers on the main bridge over the river Ibar.

He added that the act early Wednesday followed several meetings between the top NATO commander in Kosovo, Italian Maj. Gen. Salvatore Farina, and Kosovo Serb leaders.

Serbia rejects Kosovo's 2008 secession but the European Union has conditioned Belgrade's eventual membership in the bloc on settling its dispute with Kosovo's ethnic Albanians.