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Kosovo's Divided City of Mitrovica Warily Awaits Independence

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007

MITROVICA, Kosovo -- At first glance, Mitrovica looks like an unremarkable post-industrial mining town. A cloud of smoke hovers over a sprawl of dusty roads dotted with Yugoslav-era apartment blocks and an unattractive monument to local zinc miners, both Serb and Albanian, who battled against the Nazis during World War II.

Today, the city is divided by a river and a bridge, symbols of the ethnic strife that exploded in violence in 1999 and again in 2004, driving Mitrovica's Albanians to the south, and Serbs to the north, of the Ibar River. ...

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