BERLIN (AP) - The German military says it will deploy a quick reaction force of several hundred troops to Kosovo to strengthen the NATO mission there amid heightened tensions ahead of next month's election in neighboring Serbia.
Central command spokesman Hauke Bunks said Saturday about 550 German soldiers and some 130 Austrian troops will be deployed to the region by May 1.
Bunks says NATO seeks to strengthen its KFOR mission there "because of its evaluation of the current security situation in Kosovo."
Serbia will hold parliamentary and local elections May 6 which could re-ignite tensions between minority ethnic Albanians and majority Serbs in northern Kosovo.
Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and is recognized by mant many countries, including most EU nations and the United States.
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