NewsSerbian uniforms found in Kosovo as tensions escalate

Serbian uniforms found in Kosovo as tensions escalate

Arsenal secured by the Kosovo police
Arsenal secured by the Kosovo police
Images source: © Getty Images | Ferdi Limani

8:32 AM EDT, June 2, 2024

- In the north of the country, a stash of Serbian police and special forces uniforms was discovered. The risk of escalation remains high - said Xhelal Sveçla, Kosovo's Minister of Internal Affairs, on Saturday. - The Serbian authorities continuously attempt to destabilize Kosovo - he added.

In one of the houses in Leposavic, a town in the predominantly Serbian northern part of Kosovo, dozens of Serbian police and special forces uniforms, as well as several Kosovo police uniforms, were found. The head of Kosovo's Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that the find confirms "Belgrade's continuous efforts to destabilize the northern part of Kosovo," reported the daily newspaper "Koha Ditore."

"This is further evidence that Serbian security forces were and remain responsible for attempts to destabilize and annex northern Kosovo. Thanks to the vigilance and tireless work of all security institutions of the Republic of Kosovo, Belgrade's attempts have been thwarted," wrote Sveçla on Facebook.

"Koha Ditore" recalls that controls in the predominantly Serbian north of Kosovo were increased after a group of Serbian attackers assaulted the police in the village of Banjska in September of last year. In the attack, one Kosovo police officer and three Serbs were killed. The attackers, fleeing the scene, left behind weapons worth 6 million euros (6.5 million dollars). Kosovo authorities accused Belgrade of organizing the attack, calling it "terrorist."

Kosovo's Minister of Defense Ejup Maqedonci said on Saturday that the group responsible for the September 2023 attack regularly moves near the Kosovo border. - The politician noted that almost every day, we find weapons, which confirms the ongoing risk in the northern part of the country.

Tensions rise in the Balkans

In the largest predominantly Serbian city in Kosovo – North Mitrovica – two cars with Serbian license plates were set on fire on Saturday. Several similar incidents have been recorded in the region in recent weeks. At the beginning of April, a car belonging to a member of Kosovo's border guard was burned in the city. In March, premises belonging to a Serbian politician were set on fire, according to police assessments.

Serbia lost control over Kosovo after NATO's armed campaign in 1999 and refused to recognize the independence of its former province declared in 2008. Kosovo is still home to a Serbian minority, some concentrated in the northern areas near the Serbian border.

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