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    Tear gas is released during a session of parliament in Pristina, Kosovo February 26, 2016. Kosovo parliament is expected to vote the former Prime Minister and guerrilla commander Hashim Thaci as the new country's president despite opposition protests

    Opposition Members Spray Tear Gas in Kosovo Parliament - Reports

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    Members of the Kosovar opposition have disrupted the partially-recognized state’s parliamentary session on Thursday by dispersing tear gas, local media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Opposition members also directed bright beams of light at the parliament's presidium, as well as attacked Kosovo's Prime Minister Isa Mustafa with water, following which the session was suspended, according to the the RTK public broadcaster.

    The incident occurred just five minutes after a tear gas grenade was set off inside the parliamentary building that was smuggled inside by opposition members Salih Salihu and Besa Baftiu.

    Kosovo's parliament has seen multiple tear gas attacks over recent months, with radical pro-Albanian parties protesting the ruling Democratic Party of Kosovo (PDK) policies and the appointment of former Prime Minister Hashim Thaci as president of the breakaway region formerly a part of Serbia.

    In late February, a parliamentary meeting dedicated to Thaci's election was interrupted twice due to tear gas attacks. A tear gas attack also occurred in mid-February, when the opposition also protested Thaci's presidential candidacy.

    The Alliance for the Future of Kosovo and Initiative for Kosovo and Vetevendosje (self-determination) parties staunchly oppose the creation of the community of Serb municipalities, which grant Kosovo's ethnic Serbian minority with increased autonomy.

    Kosovo, which is inhabited mostly by ethnic Albanians, declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 after years of struggle with Belgrade. Serbia considers Kosovo to be part of its territory. Dozens of countries, including Russia, do not recognize Kosovo as an independent state.

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