One police officer was killed and one other wounded in an assault Kosovo’s prime minister has blamed on help from Serbia.
Three of the assailants had been additionally killed within the shootout which occurred following a siege on an Orthodox monastery in Banjska, Leposavic, 35 miles north of the capital Pristina.
Albin Kurti mentioned “masked professionals armed with heavy weapons” opened fireplace on a police patrol within the village – killing one officer, who has since been named as Afrim Bunjaku.
Another officer was injured however his situation shouldn’t be life-threatening.
Interior minister Xhelal Svecla mentioned six gunmen, two of whom had been injured, had been arrested and so they had discovered “an “terribly great amount of weaponry and ammunition, explosives”.
The assault occurred when three police models had been dispatched to a bridge on the entrance to the village that two vans with out licence plates had blocked, Kosovo police mentioned.
The responding officers got here beneath fireplace from weapons that included hand grenades and bombs, authorities mentioned.
The officers managed to push again the assault and took two wounded members of their ranks to a hospital within the metropolis of Mitrovica.
Police mentioned there have been nonetheless sporadic exchanges of gunfire greater than 12 hours later.
Serbian media and Kosovo police mentioned each native roads and two border crossings into Serbia had been closed.
Most of Kosovo’s ethnic Serb minority lives in 4 municipalities round Mitrovica, within the north.
Speaking after a gathering of the nation’s safety council on Sunday, Mr Kurti mentioned it was a “sad day” for Kosovo
“It is clear that these uniformed persons, at least 30, are an organised professional unit who have come to fight in Kosovo,” he mentioned, calling on them at hand themselves over to authorities.
Reports within the media in Serb-dominated northern Kosovo mentioned residents of the village of Banjska had been woken up by shootings and detonations in the midst of the night time till daybreak.
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“Organised crime, which is politically, financially and logistically supported from Belgrade, is attacking our state,” Mr Kurti wrote on his Facebook web page.
Serbia’s parliamentary speaker Vladimir Orlic mentioned Mr Kurti “was quick to blame the Serbs,” including that Mr Kurti was the one who needed an “escalation” within the area.
In May tensions in northern Kosovo left 93 peacekeepers damage in riots.
Serbia and former province Kosovo have been at odds for many years and their 1998-99 struggle left greater than 10,000 folks useless, largely Kosovo Albanians.
Kosovo unilaterally declared independence in 2008 however Belgrade has refused to recognise the transfer.