Kosovo opposition protests detention of its leader

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Protests, unrest in Kosovo after leader detained
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Kosovo opposition protests detention of its leader
Supporters of opposition MP Albin Kurti kicks off a tear gas canister during clashes with Kosovo police in central Pristina on October 12, 2015. Kurti was arrested hours ago after he disrupted a parliamentary session last week on which a Brussels deal with Serbia was supposed to be discussed. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Kosovo police secure the main street after demonstrators threw stones at police demanding the release of nationalist lawmaker Albin Kurti, in Kosovo capital Pristina on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. The main opposition parties have been protesting governmentâs recent EU-sponsored deal with authorities in Serbia that give Kosovoâs Serb minority greater rights in areas where they live. Albin Kurti, who is a leader of the nationalist Vetvendosje movement, set off a teargas canister inside Kosovoâs Parliament in an attempt to halt the proceedings. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Supporters of opposition MP Albin Kurti kicks off a tear gas canister during clashes with Kosovo police in central Pristina on October 12, 2015. Kurti was arrested hours ago after he disrupted a parliamentary session last week on which a Brussels deal with Serbia was supposed to be discussed. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of opposition MP Albin Kurti kicks off a tear gas canister during clashes with Kosovo police in central Pristina on October 12, 2015. Kurti was arrested hours ago after he disrupted a parliamentary session last week on which a Brussels deal with Serbia was supposed to be discussed. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Police officer walks out of a damaged entrance to the central police station after demonstrators threw stones at police demanding the release of a nationalist lawmaker Albin Kurti in Kosovo capital Pristina on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015. The main opposition parties have been protesting governmentâs recent EU-sponsored deal with authorities in Serbia that give Kosovoâs Serb minority greater rights in areas where they live. Albin Kurti, who is a leader of the nationalist Vetvendosje movement, set off a teargas canister inside Kosovoâs Parliament in an attempt to halt the proceedings. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Kosovo police fire tear gas at supporters of opposition MP Albin Kurti during clashes in central Pristina on October 12, 2015. Kurti was arrested hours ago after he disrupted a parliamentary session last week on which a Brussels deal with Serbia was supposed to be discussed. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of opposition MP Albin Kurti kicks off a tear gas canister during clashes with Kosovo police in central Pristina on October 12, 2015. Kurti was arrested hours ago after he disrupted a parliamentary session last week on which a Brussels deal with Serbia was supposed to be discussed. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Kosovo police fire tear gas at supporters of opposition MP Albin Kurti during clashes in central Pristina on October 12, 2015. Kurti was arrested hours ago after he disrupted a parliamentary session last week on which a Brussels deal with Serbia was supposed to be discussed. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Kosovo police fire tear gas at supporters of opposition MP Albin Kurti during clashes in central Pristina on October 12, 2015. Kurti was arrested hours ago after he disrupted a parliamentary session last week on which a Brussels deal with Serbia was supposed to be discussed. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Supporters of opposition MP Albin Kurti kicks off a tear gas canister during clashes with Kosovo police in central Pristina on October 12, 2015. Kurti was arrested hours ago after he disrupted a parliamentary session last week on which a Brussels deal with Serbia was supposed to be discussed. AFP PHOTO/ARMEND NIMANI (Photo credit should read ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Protester run from tear gas in Kosovo capital Pristina as clashes broke out after the arrest of a prominent opposition politician Albin Kurti on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The main opposition parties have been protesting governmentâs recent EU-sponsored deal with authorities in Serbia that give Kosovoâs Serb minority greater rights in areas where they live. Albin Kurti, who is a leader of the nationalist Vetvendosje movement, set off a teargas canister inside Kosovoâs Parliament in an attempt to halt the proceedings. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
A protester throws stones in Kosovo capital Pristina as clashes broke out after the arrest of a prominent opposition politician Albin Kurti on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The main opposition parties have been protesting governmentâs recent EU-sponsored deal with authorities in Serbia that give Kosovoâs Serb minority greater rights in areas where they live. Albin Kurti, who is a leader of the nationalist Vetvendosje movement, set off a teargas canister inside Kosovoâs Parliament in an attempt to halt the proceedings. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Kosovo police in riot gear marches toward stone throwing crowd in front of the central police station in Kosovo capital Pristina as clashes broke out after the arrest of a prominent opposition politician Albin Kurti on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The main opposition parties have been protesting governmentâs recent EU-sponsored deal with authorities in Serbia that give Kosovoâs Serb minority greater rights in areas where they live. Albin Kurti, who is a leader of the nationalist Vetvendosje movement, set off a teargas canister inside Kosovoâs Parliament in an attempt to halt the proceedings. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Molotov cocktail is thrown at the police officers in Kosovo capital Pristina as clashes broke out after the arrest of a prominent opposition politician Albin Kurti on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The main opposition parties have been protesting governmentâs recent EU-sponsored deal with authorities in Serbia that give Kosovoâs Serb minority greater rights in areas where they live. Albin Kurti, who is a leader of the nationalist Vetvendosje movement, set off a teargas canister inside Kosovoâs Parliament in an attempt to halt the proceedings. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Kosovo Police in riot gear use pepper spray on a stone throwing crowd gathered to protest in front of the central police station in Kosovo capital Pristina after the arrest of a prominent opposition politician Albin Kurti on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The main opposition parties have been protesting governmentâs recent EU-sponsored deal with authorities in Serbia that give Kosovoâs Serb minority greater rights in areas where they live. Albin Kurti, who is a leader of the nationalist Vetvendosje movement, set off a teargas canister inside Kosovoâs Parliament in an attempt to halt the proceedings. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
Kosovo police officers in riot gear stand in a cloud of tear gas in Kosovo capital Pristina as clashes broke out after the arrest of a prominent opposition politician Albin Kurti on Monday, Oct. 12, 2015. The main opposition parties have been protesting governmentâs recent EU-sponsored deal with authorities in Serbia that give Kosovoâs Serb minority greater rights in areas where they live. Albin Kurti, who is a leader of the nationalist Vetvendosje movement, set off a teargas canister inside Kosovoâs Parliament in an attempt to halt the proceedings. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
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PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Fifteen policemen and one civilian were injured during a violent protest by the opposition Self-Determination Party (Vetevendosje!) after an opposition lawmaker was taken in for questioning, Kosovo police said Tuesday.

Police spokesman Baki Kelani says opposition leader Albin Kurti was taken to a police station Monday evening to be questioned on the use of tear gas to disrupt the parliament session last week. The opposition had been protesting against the government's recent EU-sponsored deal with Serbia giving the Kosovo's Serb-majority areas greater powers.

Video images of the session showed Kurti opening the first canister of tear gas.

"A small group" of protesters gathered in front of the police station where Kurti was being interviewed, hurling stones, other hard objects and putting two cars of the prosecutor's office on fire, Kelani said, adding that half a dozen cars were also damaged.

"They did not respect police calls to disperse and police were obliged to intervene," Kelani said by telephone, adding that Kurti was questioned based on a prosecutor's warrant.

Kurti's Vetevendosje! said police did not explain why Kurti was being questioned, adding that hundreds of citizens and supporters faced with "exaggerated violence from police" using tear gas and also iron and plastic batons injuring many of them.

Kurti, a member of parliament, was released after midnight while nine protesters have been arrested, Kelani said Tuesday.

The party called for more anti-government protests.

"Pristina, Kosovo ... will topple down this government of mafia and collaborationists too," said a statement from the Vetevendosje! party.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but Serbia has refused to recognize it.

___

Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, contributed to this report.

Kosovo Clashes Over Lawmaker Arrest

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