Police in Kosovo have fired volleys of tear gas at thousands of anti-government protesters demanding the resignation of a minister who had denied that war crimes were committed against ethnic Albanians during the 1998-99 war with Serbia.

The protesters pelted officers with rocks and other objects outside the government headquarters on Tuesday.

The clashes follow a week of demonstrations throughout Kosovo organized by opposition parties, who are demanding the dismissal Aleksandar Jablanovic, a Kosovo government minister who is a Serb, and whose comments minimizing Serbia's role in the war have especially angered the families of some 1,000 ethnic Albanians still missing.

Some 10,000 people died in the war when Serbian troops launched a brutal crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians. The violence was halted by NATO's 78-day bombing of Serbia.