by Online editorial team
Having killed a policeman and six attackers, the bandits barricaded themselves inside for a few hours. Prime Minister Kurdi: «Belgrade finances organized crime»
In Kosovo an armed commando clashed with the police during an assault in a location near the border with Serbia, in the north of the country. According to Kosovar sources there are seven deaths, while Serbian sources speak of five. The victims are a Kosovar policeman and the members of a commando whose survivors (about thirty) have barricaded themselves inside a monastery. “The police unit was attacked from several positions with heavy weapons, including grenades,” as it approached the location where a blocked road had been reported, the police statement said.
The attack took place this night near a monastery in Banjska; this first assault was followed by other shootings in the same area. About thirty armed men barricaded themselves inside the monastery and surrendered after a few hours: inside there was also a group of pilgrims from the nearby Serbian city of Novi Sad. Two crossings between Kosovo and Serbia have been closed, according to the Serbian Tanjug agency.
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, confirmed the episode and spoke of an attack “carried out by professionals, masked and equipped with heavy weapons”. “Organized crime, with the financial and logistical support of Belgrade officials, is attacking our country,” he wrote on social media. Kurti, according to local media, is now in talks with the ambassadors of the United States, France, Great Britain, Germany and Italy. Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani declared that the incident, “orchestrated by Serbian criminal gangs”, was an attack on public order and “against the sovereignty of the Republic of Kosovo”.
NATO peacekeepers are “ready to respond if necessary” in northern Kosovo and are “working intensively to find a solution” to the unrest, the Atlantic Alliance’s Kosovo Force said.
Northern Kosovo is the scene of recurrent unrest and tension suddenly increased in May, when the Kosovar authorities decided to appoint Albanian mayors in four Serb-majority municipalities. More than 30 soldiers from KFOR, the NATO-led force in Kosovo, were injured in late May in clashes with Serbian protesters. Serbia refuses to recognize the independence of its former province, whose population of 1.8 million, mostly of Albanian origin, includes a Serb community of around 120,000 people, living mainly in northern Kosovo.
(news being updated)
September 24, 2023 (modified September 24, 2023 | 11:01 pm)
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