Kosovo: three men detained after Sunday’s violence

Three men arrested in Kosovo after the violence near the Serbian border on Sunday were placed in pre-trial detention on Monday and Tuesday, we learned from the Pristina court on Tuesday.

“The Pristina court ordered their detention for 30 days,” court spokesperson Mirlinda Gashi told AFP of the two men imprisoned Tuesday 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 further details.

These incarcerations come after the death of a police officer 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.

Several hundred people gathered Tuesday evening in the predominantly Serb district of Mitrovica and lit candles in tribute to the killed gunmen, according to an AFP journalist. Similar rallies took place in three other cities in the region.

According to Pristina, at least six of them crossed into Serbia.

The Kosovar authorities also announced that they had discovered a veritable war arsenal. According to a list published by Prime Minister Albin Kurti, police seized 150 kg of explosives, 30 AK 47s and rocket launchers.

“Incredibly serious attack”

Pristina immediately accused Serbia of being behind this attack, which Belgrade was quick to deny, in turn incriminating Albin Kurti and his “provocations” towards the Kosovo Serbs.

The Serbian government also declared Wednesday a day of national mourning in Serbia after “the tragic events” in Kosovo.

This renewed tension, among the most violent since Kosovo’s declaration of independence in 2008, has sparked a flood of reactions, with the EU and the United States calling for de-escalation and condemning the murder of the police officer, a “terrorist act “.

For his part, the American ambassador to Kosovo, Jeffrey Hovenier, described the incident as an “incredibly serious attack” carried out by a “well-organized, trained, professional group equipped with efficient military equipment.”

US security services are working closely with their counterparts in Kosovo and other partners to “fully understand what happened and the motive” of the attackers, he told reporters in Pristina.

Influence of Moscow

Russia, whose influence in Serbia is regularly singled out by the international community, said Monday evening that there was “no doubt that the blood shed yesterday (Sunday) is a direct and immediate consequence of the politics of self -saying +Prime Minister Albin Kurti+ of inciting conflict”.

Pristina declared independence from Serbia in 2008, almost a decade after NATO helped push Serbian forces out of the former province following a campaign of aerial bombings.

The war in Kosovo left around 13,000 dead, most of them of Albanian origin. Serbia, supported in particular by Russia and China, has always refused to recognize this independence, just like five member countries of the European Union.

This article is originally published on fr.euronews.com

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