Kosovo: calm returns to the north of the country after a day of violence
In Kosovo, the Kosovar security forces regained control of a monastery in the north of the country yesterday, Sunday evening, 24 September, where several armed men were holed up. A major police operation that took place after exchanges of fire with a mysterious armed group. Four Kosovar police and assailants were killed and four wounded in what appeared to be a terrorist attack.
Kosovo security forces stand in front of the entrance to the village of Banjska, September 24, 2023. AFP - STRINGER
By: RFI Follow
With our correspondent in Belgrade, Laurent Rouy
On Sunday, 24 September, after ambushing Kosovo police, in which one of them was killed and two others were wounded, a group of armed men holed up in a Serb monastery in northern Kosovo in the village of Banjska. The attackers were in uniform, without badges, armed with assault rifles and possibly even a rocket launcher. They travelled in all-terrain vehicles without license plates and they also had a homemade armoured vehicle. So, an action obviously prepared in advance.
In the end, the police regained control of the situation. Four dead, including three assailants, and ten arrests. The question, which remains fundamental, is to understand what happened. The attack looks like terrorism. But while there has often been violence between Serbs and Kosovars, there is no precedent for such attacks in the region.
Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti initially accused Serbia of supporting "criminal gangs". Belgrade denounced "lies" and denied any involvement by Serbia. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on the contrary accused the Kosovar side of having created this situation by "the policy of terror" carried out against the Serbs in Kosovo. While the European Union (EU) wants negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina on North Kosovo, we see that we are moving away from it completely.
" READ ALSO A monastery attacked, a policeman killed: chaotic situation in northern Kosovo
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- Aleksandar Vucic