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Kosovo


Battle site W of Pristina in the Kosovo Autonomous Region. The area was first inhabited by Slavs in the seventh century and passed to Serbia in the 12th. Here the Turks defeated the Serbian empire in 1389 in a great, often commemorated battle. In 1448 the Turks again were victors here over the Hungarians. Kosovo has the tomb of Sultan Murad I and of the Serbian hero Milosh Obilich. In November 1915 the Bulgarians won their final victory over the Serbians here. In 1946 Kosovo became part of Serbia, which in turn was part of Yugoslavia. After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, the citizens of Kosovo voted for independence. This increased the already high tensions between the ethnic Albanians who make up the majority of the city’s population and favored independence and the Serbs who consider Kosovo a historic land mark in Serbian history and did not want Kosovo independent from Serbia. The violence escalated between the two sides, and in 1999 NATO started an air campaign against the Serbian forces. This action produced a peace agreement in 1999, though ethnic violence still occurs. The city is now administered by the United Nations, and Kosovo is still recognized internationally as part of Serbia.


     

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