World Bulletin / News Desk
The assassination of a prominent Serb politician has cast another dark cloud above Kosovo as it is prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of its independence.
But Belgrade and many of the 120,000 members of Kosovo's Serb minority, refuse to do so almost 20 years after the 1990s war.
The conflict pitting Serbian security forces against Kosovo Albanian guerrillas claimed 13,000 lives, mostly ethnic Albanians.
The January 16 murder of moderate Serb politician Oliver Ivanovic has sparked fresh tensions in the volatile region.
The 64-year-old was shot dead from a car in northern Mitrovica, a Serb-populated part of the ethnically divided flashpoint town.
He was the only top Kosovo Serb politician to have publicly denounced Belgrade's policies in Kosovo, earning him the label "traitor" from detractors.
The murder, whose perpetrators have not yet been identified, has "the potential to destabilise Kosovo", political analyst Ramush Tahiri told AFP.
It already prompted the suspension of EU-mediated talks between Serb and Kosovo negotiators, which had been due to resume on the day Ivanovic was killed.
The indefinite halt of discussions "is bad for our country," commented Zeri, one of Kosovo's leading daily newspapers.
Begun in 2011 under EU auspices, the process of normalising ties has been at a standstill for months. A number of key issues remain yet to be solved including the status of "Serb-majority municipalities".
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