Protests and police resignations in Kosovo

STORY: Leaders said they had quit jobs in municipal administrations, the courts, police and the parliament and government in Pristina.

The tension also prompted a protest in the northern half of Mitrovica, a two divided between ethnic Albanians and Serbs in northern Kosovo.

People filled a a street in the town, flying Serbian flags and listening to patriotic songs.

NATO, which still has around 3,700 troops to maintain the fragile peace, asked Pristina and Belgrade to show restraint and prevent escalation.

An interior ministry official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Saturday some police units were extending shifts to up to 12 hours from the normal eight to make up for the absence of the Serb officers.

The dispute concerns an order by the government of Prime Minister Albin Kurti for Serbs to switch their old car licence plates, which date to the 1990s when Kosovo was a part of Serbia, to Kosovo state plates.