© unknownSupporters of opposition party Self-Determination clash with Kosovo police in Podujevo, six kilometers from the Merdare border crossing that links Kosovo and Serbia, January 14, 2012.
Police in Kosovo have arrested at least 146 protesters following clashes with hundreds of Kosovo Albanians, who tried to blockade the border with neighboring Serbia.

Clashes erupted Saturday in the northern town of Podujevo, six kilometers (four miles) from the border with Serbia and near the main Merdare border crossing, leaving 50 people, including 31 police officers, injured.

Heavily-armed riot police fired tear gas and employed water cannons after the demonstrators blocked the road and ignored calls to disperse. Eventually, police managed to disperse the protesters and restore traffic on the road leading from the border to Pristina, the capital and largest city of Kosovo.

The opposition political party Self-Determination had announced that it would block the traffic from Serbia in order to bar Serb products from entering Kosovo.

Self-Determination movement, led by opposition leader Albin Kurti, is against what it perceives as the Serbian obstruction of Kosovo's independence since its secession in 2008.

Addressing the protesters on Saturday, Kurti cited Serbia "an enemy country for Kosovo", adding that Serbia's behavior should be questioned.

"People of Kosovo want reciprocity, parliament of Kosovo decided for full reciprocity, political, economic and trade reciprocity with Serbia. And by behaving good with Serbia, Serbia is getting worse," he said.

Belgrade and Pristina have been at odds over bilateral trade ever since Kosovo unilaterally proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008.

The Serbs reject Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence and regard the region as a part of greater Serbia.

However, the two sides agreed to implement a free trade agreement last year after months of EU-mediated negotiations.

Analysts say it is extremely difficult to predict exactly when Serbia might move towards recognizing Kosovo. But they argue that this will probably not happen until at least May 2012, when Serbia is due to hold parliamentary elections.