Thousands of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo are protesting a minority Serb politician's denial of war crimes against them and demanding the government take over managing the country's crucial mining complex.

Protesters waved Albanian flags and banners Saturday in Pristina, the capital, and called for the dismissal of the Serb Minister Aleksandar Jablanovic, whose comments minimizing Serbia's role in the 1998-99 Kosovo war especially angered families of some 1,000 ethnic Albanians who are still missing. Police said 12,000 people attended the protest.

Jablanovic is part of the governing coalition together with former Kosovo guerrillas who fought a separatist war against Serbia.

The protest comes as over 400 miners from Kosovo's mining complex Trepca want the government to take over the administration of the Yugoslav-era complex to stop it from being liquidated.