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Kosovo Polje (Косово поље, Albanian: Fushë Kosovë) is a town located in Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro, at 42.63° North, 21.12° East. Its name means "Field of Blackbirds" in Serbian. The town is also known in German as Amselfeld - a literal translation of "Field of Blackbirds". In 2003 the city had a total population of 28,600. It is nominally governed as part of the Serbian autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija but in practice is under the authority of the United Nations following the 1999 Kosovo War.
Kosovo Polje is the nearest town to the site of the Battle of Kosovo in 1389 and thus acquired a totemic status as a symbol of Serbian nationalism (although the town itself is a fairly poor, run-down place of little historic interest). In April 1987 it became the scene of a famous incident when Slobodan Milosevic - at the time a Serbian Communist Party official - was sent to Kosovo Polje's Hall of Culture (town hall) to calm a crowd of angry Serbs protesting at what they saw as anti-Serb discrimination by the Albanian-dominated Kosovo administration. He told them that "No one has the right to beat you ... No one will beat you ever again." The incident earned Milosevic the support of Serbian nationalists, propelling him to the presidency of Serbia two years later.
Prior to the 1999 war, Kosovo Polje was the only sizeable town in Kosovo where Serbs were in the plurality. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees estimated in March 1998 that its population (estimated at 16,000) was around 36 per cent Serb, 27 per cent Kosovo Albanian and 37 per cent from other national communities. The surrounding municipality had an estimated population of just under 40,000, in which Serbs were in the minority - 59 per cent Kosovo Albanian, 24 per cent Serb and 17 per cent from other national communities. 
Kosovo Polje saw considerable violence before, during and after the war. In December 1998, the Serb deputy mayor of Kosovo Polje was killed by Kosovo Liberation Army guerrillas despite reportedly taking a moderate line on Serb-Albanian relations. Kidnaps and assassinations of Serbs and Albanians continued until the war began. The town's Albanian population was forcibly expelled, reportedly by local Serbs and paramilitaries, and many local Albanians were killed.
At the war's end in June 1999, most of the Albanian population returned while many of the town's Serbs fled for fear of retaliation from KLA guerrillas and returning refugees. The remaining Serb population found themselves in an enclave in an Albanian-dominated region. Thousands of Serbs and Roma from other parts of Kosovo, who had fled their homes, took refuge in Kosovo Polje, where a large refugee camp was established.
Ethnic tension flared repeatedly in the years after the war and a number of Serbs were killed in apparent revenge attacks perpetrated by Albanian extremists. Under this continuing pressure, the Serb population of Kosovo Polje shrank steadily until, by July 2002, the newspaper Blic was reporting that only 550 Serbs remained in Kosovo Polje. The town was seriously affected by the March 2004 unrest in Kosovo, which saw a number of Serb houses burned and more Serbs forced to flee (the Serbian government claimed that 2,000 people had been expelled, though this is inconsistent with the earlier reports of the number of Serbs in the town). A number are reported to have returned since then and at least some of the destroyed properties have been rebuilt by the United Nations.
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