Incidents » Conflicts

Kosovo on fire

For two days Serbs and Albanians have been fighting in Kosovo, 22 people were killed and more than 500 wounded.
In New York special meeting of the UN Security Council on the situation in Kosovo is in progress. Meanwhile, in Kosovo and Metokhia crowds of Albanian extremists are attacking  Serbs, UN police and international peace-keeping troops.

The peace-keeping troops have started evacuating Serbs from the towns in Kosovo. All Serbian residents of Pristina administrative center had been brought to the “safe place”, LCI French TV channel reported.

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Many armored vehicles of the peace-keeping troops have been deployed in Boshnyachka Makhala District where Serbs and Albanians are living. Meanwhile, commander of the peace-keeping forces general Holger Kammerhof rejected the offer of Serbian President Voislav Kostunica about cooperation with Serbian Security Forces to stop the riots. 

NATO is deploying more troops in Kosovo. 750 special force troops will arrive in Kosovo from Bosnia shortly.  There are 17 thousand international peace-keeping troops in Kosovo and 12 thousand in Bosnia.

The conflict started in town Kosovska-Mitrovica divided by the river Ibr into Albanian and Serbian areas. Crowds of Albanians tried to rush to the Serbian area through the bridge guarded by French peace-keeping troops.

The cause for the riots became the deaths of three Albanian teenagers. Serbian teenagers were accused of pushing the young Albanians into the river where they drowned.  UN Mission Press Secretary Derek Chepel has denied these allegations. Moreover, by the evening the teenager who had been considered to be drowned, was found. This boy did not say that Serbs were attacking the Albanian kids.

The riots disseminated to a number of towns and villages. The most dangerous situation is in village Chaglavitsa near Pristina where about one thousand Serbs lived. In the daytime Albanians broke through the UN police cordons into the village. Serbian women and children escaped to neighboring village Laple-Selo. Ten vehicles of the UN police near the village and the cottages of Serbs are on fire. Americans rescued 10 wounded officers of international peace-keeping troops.

In Pristina curfew has been imposed by the authorities. However, about 2 thousand armed Albanians approached the city from other areas of Kosovo. Earlier the houses of several dozens of Serbian residents who remained in Pristina, were attacked with stones and petrol bombs.

Albanian radicals burned Orthodox Monastery of St. Archangel near town Prizren and St. George Church in Prizren.

In Jakovits extremists attack the Orthodox Church after five women tried to hide themselves there.

There is no information on the 200 residents of Gnilane in the East of Kosovo. All the cottages of Serbs have been burned in this city. The residents of Gnilane had tried to escape to Serbia, but later five burned vehicles were found on the road, and no sign of the Serbians. There is a version that Albanians captured them.

Belgrad TV named the events in Kosovo “ethnic purge”. Currently 2 million of Albanians and  70-100 Serbs and people of other nations are residing in Kosovo. Serbian politicians believe that after the rest of Serbians leave Kosovo in the days to come, the territory will become ethically homogeneous and will proclaim their independence from Serbia.

Head of Coordinating Committee on Kosovo from Serbian government Neboisha Chovich said that the un police and peace-keeping troops are protecting only themselves.

Source: Information agencies

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