The ramifications of Sunday’s North Kosovo gun battle were still being felt Tuesday Sept. 26, with EU representatives scrambling and Kosovo calling for Serbia to hand over ethnic Serb gunman whom it claimed had escaped across the border.
The incident, which began Saturday night with the ambush of a Kosovo police patrol near Zvecan, is perhaps the most dangerous crisis in years and threatens to completely derail all possible talks of normalization between the two states. During the ambush, an alleged 30 heavily armed Serbs killed an ethnic Kosovo policeman and wounded others before fleeing to a nearby monastery. A gun battle raged for much of Sunday in which three Serbs were killed, and a forth was found dead next to a vehicle in the vicinity on Monday.
Kosovo said it had arrested six Serbs and sealed off borders, but there were immediate questions with regard to the fate of the other Serbs who took part in the raid.
Following the raid, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said investigations were ongoing, and statements of other Kosovo officials implied that the assailants were transporting various heavy weapons and equipment to supply a larger number of Serbs.
Vucic has since condemned the killing of the Kosovo police officer, but he has also blamed Kurti and said that Serbs have had enough of living “in terror” in Kosovo.
Both the governments of Kosovo and Serbia have implemented days of morning over the incident.
Banskja Monastery pic by Vanjagenije, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons