Kosovo police have raided a number of areas in a tense Serb-dominated space within the north of the nation the place weekend clashes left 4 individuals lifeless and additional strained relations with Serbia
ByZANA CIMILI Related Press
September 29, 2023, 3:44 AM
Kosovo law enforcement officials search restaurant and constructing in northern Serb-dominated a part of ethnically divided city of Mitrovica, Kosovo, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. In one of many worst confrontations since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, about 30 masked males opened fireplace on a police patrol close to the village of Banjska early Sunday. One Kosovo police officer and three gunmen had been killed in Sunday’s shootout between Serb insurgents and Kosovo police. (AP Picture/Radul Radovanovic)
The Related Press
PRISTINA, Kosovo — Kosovo police on Friday raided a number of areas in a tense Serb-dominated space within the north of the nation the place weekend clashes left 4 individuals lifeless and additional strained relations with Serbia.
Police mentioned in an announcement that they had been conducting searches on 5 areas in three municipalities in northern Kosovo. A press release mentioned the operation was in reference to Sunday’s shootout between Serb insurgents and Kosovo police within the village of Banjska.
The confrontation was one of many worst since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008 and Belgrade refused to acknowledge the break up.
About 30 masked males opened fireplace on a police patrol close to Banjska earlier than breaking down the gates of a Serbian Orthodox monastery and barricading themselves inside with the clergymen and visiting pilgrims. The 12-hour shootout that adopted left one police officer and three gunmen lifeless.
The violence additional raised tensions within the Balkan area at a time when European Union and U.S. officers have been pushing for a deal that may normalize ties between Serbia and Kosovo. A NATO bombing marketing campaign on Serb positions in Kosovo and Serbia led to the top of their 1998-99 warfare. The was left some 10,000 individuals lifeless, principally Kosovo Albanians.
Serbian media mentioned that police on Friday raided a hospital and a restaurant within the Serb-dominated a part of the city of Mitrovica, in addition to areas in different cities within the space. The native Kossev information company reported police additionally confiscated a number of autos.
Kosovo has accused Serbia of direct involvement within the clashes in Banjska, which Belgrade has denied. Kosovo police mentioned that they had discovered enormous portions of weapons and gear that steered the insurgents had been planning a wider operation.
On Thursday, Kosovo’s inside minister, Xhelal Sveçla, advised The Related Press in an interview that Serbia operates coaching camps for the insurgents and that Kosovo authorities had been additionally investigating Russia’s involvement within the violence.
There are fears within the West that Russia, appearing by means of Serbia, might wish to destabilize the Balkans and shift at the least a few of the consideration from Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Russia has voiced assist for Serbia over the clashes, blaming the West for allegedly failing to guard Kosovo Serbs.
The EU, with the backing of the U.S., has been brokering negotiations between the 2 sides. In February, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić gave their approval to a 10-point EU plan for normalizing relations, however the two leaders have since distanced themselves from the settlement.