Protesters Return to the Streets of Serbia; U.N. Police on Alert

Up to 2,000 Serb protesters chanting "Kosovo is Serbia!" marched Saturday through the ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica in a sixth day of demonstrations against Kosovo's independence.

U.N. police in riot gear formed a cordon across the main bridge separating the tense northern Kosovo town's Serb and ethnic Albanian sides as some of the protesters hurled firecrackers. The protesters waved Serbian and Russian flags and chanted "Russia, Vladimir Putin" in support of Russia's refusal to recognize Kosovo's independence.

A NATO helicopter hovered above the bridge to monitor the protest.

Kosovo's minority Serbs have staged protests daily since the territory's ethnic Albanian leadership proclaimed independence from Serbia last Sunday. On Thursday they set fire to the U.S. embassy in the Serbian capital Belgrade.

On Friday, angry demonstrators hurled stones, glass bottles and firecrackers at U.N. forces protecting the bridge. Saturday's protest was less violent.

The Serbs, who represent about 10 percent of the region's 2 million people, have been displaying their anger by destroying U.N. and NATO property as well.