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Serbs celebrate medieval battle in Kosovo

June 28, 2013

GAZIMESTAN, Kosovo (AP) — Some two thousand Serbs have gathered in a field outside Kosovo’s capital to commemorate the anniversary of a medieval battle against invading Ottoman forces.

Serbs chanted anti-Albanian slogans and sang nationalistic songs as Kosovo police secured the area on Friday. Serb media said several Serbs were injured by stones hurled at their buses.

Invading Muslim Ottomans defeated a Serbian army in 1389, marking the start of centuries of Ottoman rule in the Balkans.

Serbs regard Kosovo as the heartland of their nation and their faith, and the battle a symbol of their defense of Christianity. More recently the celebrations of Vidovdan, or St. Vitus Day, have come to be an assertion of Serbia’s claim over Kosovo.

Kosovo seceded from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade rejects the move.

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