Kosovo: After Sunday's violence, three men detained

Three men, who were arrested in Kosovo after the violence of September 24 near the Serbian border, were placed in pre-trial detention on Monday and Tuesday, it was learned on September 26 at the court of Pristina.

Police officers near Banjska, September 25, 2023 (illustration image). REUTERS - OGNEN TEOFILOVSKI

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The court in Pristina ordered their detention for 30 days," court spokeswoman Mirlinda Gashi told AFP of two men detained on Tuesday (September 26th) on charges of "terrorist acts". They are also suspected of "crimes against the constitutional order and security of the Republic of Kosovo", she added. A third suspect was taken into custody on Monday, without elaborating.

These incarcerations come after the death of a policeman on Sunday while patrolling near the Serbian border, then the hunt for a commando who spent several hours holed up in a monastery: among the thirty heavily armed men, at least four died, three were arrested, and the fate of the others remains unknown. According to Pristina, at least six of them crossed into Serbia.

War arsenal

The Kosovar authorities have also announced that they have discovered a veritable arsenal of war. According to a list published by Prime Minister Albin Kurti, the police seized 150 kg of explosives, 30 AK 47 machine guns, rocket launchers. Pristina immediately accused Serbia of being behind this attack, which Belgrade was quick to deny, in turn blaming Albin Kurti and his "provocations" towards the Kosovo Serbs. The Serbian government also announced that Wednesday would be a day of national mourning in Serbia after "tragic events" in Kosovo.

The renewed tension, among the most violent since Kosovo's declaration of independence in 2008, has sparked a flood of reactions, with the European Union and the United States calling for de-escalation and condemning the killing of the policeman, a "terrorist act". Russia - whose influence in Serbia is regularly pointed out by the international community - said Monday night that there was "no doubt that the blood shed yesterday (Sunday) is a direct and immediate consequence of the policy of the so-called 'Prime Minister Albin Kurti' of incitement to conflict".

Bloody conflict

Pristina declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nearly a decade after NATO helped push Serbian forces out of the former province in a bloody war that left an estimated 13,000 dead, mostly ethnic Albanians. Serbia, supported in particular by Russia and China, has always refused to recognise this independence.

(With AFP)

See alsoKosovo: investigation underway after a day of violence in the north of the country

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  • Kosovo
  • Serbia
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  • Justice