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Serbia Backed Over Organs

BELGRADE, Serbia — Russia is backing Serbia's bid for the UN Security Council to authorize an investigation into allegations that Kosovan rebels traded in the organs of imprisoned Serbs during and after the 1998-99 war.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia was fully behind Serbia on the issue.

A December report by the Council of Europe claims that Kosovo's prime minister, Hashim Thaci, was once the head of a criminal organization that kidnapped Serbs and other civilians and killed them to sell their organs on the black market.

Report investigator Dick Marty said harvested organs were sold to buyers outside Kosovo, including Turkey and the Middle East.

Lavrov, visiting Belgrade at the start of a Balkan tour that will take in Montenegro, Macedonia and Slovenia, said the report should be followed by a "full, non-compromised, impartial and objective" investigation.

(AP)

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