Serbian troops on alert on Kosovo border as tensions mount

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbia’s defense minister says the country has raised the combat readiness of its troops on the border with Kosovo amid increasing tensions with its former province. Ethnic Serbs in Kosovo blocked the border between the two states for a fourth straight day Thursday to protest a decision by Kosovo authorities to start removing Serbian license plates from cars entering the country. There are fears the latest incidents could unleash much deeper tensions between the two Balkan foes. Kosovo has deployed its special police force to the predominantly ethnic Serb-populated area of Kosovo to enforce the new license plate rule. Serbia itself has for years been taking off registration plates from Kosovo-registered cars entering Serbia