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Kosovo marks 2008 independence with military parade

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Kosovo has marked the 11th anniversary of its declaration of independence from Serbia with a parade featuring soldiers from the national army it created last year despite opposition.

President Hashim Thaci said the infantry troops carrying light weaponry on Sunday paraded as a "professional, multiethnic army serving the youngest country in the world." Kosovo, a former Serbian province, transformed its security forces into a regular army last year despite Serbia's warnings it could lead to conflict. Some western nations advised a postponement.

A 1998-99 war for independence ended with a 78-day NATO air campaign. The U.N. then ran Kosovo until its 2008 declaration of independence, which is recognized by 116 countries, but not by Serbia. Thousands of people watched the parade in downtown Pristina, which was decorated with national, Albanian and U.S. flags.

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