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CHAOS: Violence erupted in Mitrovica and spread to Belgrade

Compared to so many other war-torn regions, the Balkan province of Kosovo was progressing nicely. Since NATO bombing ended in 1999, a government with limited powers had been elected. Security was improving. Kosovo Serbs, a minority in the predominantly ethnic Albanian province, could leave their fortified enclaves to shop, work, go skiing. "Things are getting back to normal," a Kosovo Serb restaurateur told Time last month. "People are ready to forget the past and move on."

Alas, civil war is not easily forgotten. In a rash of attacks that spread across the province last week like a bushfire,...

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