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Serbia's group: NATO, UN to be targeted if Kosovo secedes

U.N. and NATO, declared "terrorists and occupiers," will be targeted by a Serbian paramilitary group, outlawed by the United Nations in Kosovo, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday.

The threat comes a day before Kosovo's ethnic Albanians and Serbia's leaders meet in direct talks to discuss Kosovo's future on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, in New York. The letter was e-mailed to the UN and NATO.

The Guard of Czar Lazar - named after a medieval Serb leader who reportedly fought the Ottoman Turks in Kosovo in 1389 - said the U.N. and NATO would face "plenty of surprises," should they prevent a protest that the group has called for Oct. 14 in Kosovo's Serb dominated north.

The militiamen said they would also "intervene in the event of a unilateral declaration of independence."

"We are well aware that you are peacekeepers and side with Albanian terrorist occupiers, instead of fighting them, and forbid Serbs to enter holy Kosovo," the group said in the letter.

U.N. officials in the province brushed aside the threat, saying the outlawed group would not be allowed to gather in Kosovo.

"Czar Lazar are a banned group and cannot enter Kosovo," said Alexander Ivanko, the spokesman for the U.N. administration in Kosovo.

The event is likely to add to the simmering tensions between the province's majority ethnic Albanians, demanding independence from Serbia, and the minority Serbs insisting the province remains part of Serbia.

Envoys from the United States, European Union and Russia are in charge of the talks and are to report to the U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon on the progress of the diplomatic effort by Dec. 10.

Last time the two sides met was in Vienna, Austria in U.N. sponsored talks aimed at drafting a resolution in the Security Council based on a recommendations from former Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari, who led the talks.

Ahtisaari's document saying Kosovo should become an independent state was rejected by Serbia and blocked by Russia in the U.N.

In June the U.N. declared the extremist group "illegal and forbidden in Kosovo" days before Serbs marked the loss of the Kosovo Battle, cherished as one of the most important events in their history.

Although formally part of Serbia, Kosovo has been run by the U.N. since NATO bombed Serb troops in 1999 in an effort to stop a brutal crackdown on independence minded ethnic Albanians.

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