Sunday, February 11, 2007

Two (or Three?) Dead Following Protest

1200 CET:  Two people injured during yesterday's protest have died.  A crowd of 3000 Albanians tried to break through security barricades near the municipal government building, throwing sticks and rocks at the police.  Police responded by using tear gas and rubber bullets.  The international police commissioner, Stephen Curtis, made a public statement that the deaths were regrettable and urged the local police to conduct a fair and independent inquiry into the deaths.  He called the action of the protestors who tried to go past the police barricade a "wanton breach of security" and that the police were compelled to "take defensive measures to restore order".  Two other people are still in serious condition and have been transferred to KFOR facilities for medical treatment.
Kosovo leaders have been condemning the protest yesterday saying that the group's actions may have negative consequences on the process of forming a new Kosovo state.  The leaders have also asked Kosovo's citizens to remain calm and contribute to the stability of Kosovo.
An international worker from New Jersey, with possible Kosovo roots, has a large number of photos of the demonstration on Flickr.

1730 CET:  A candle lighting ceremony is being held at government building for the two people who died as a result of their injuries.  The road has been closed and it has been advised for UN staff to avoid the area.
1800 CET:  A demonstration has been announced in front of the student center.  About 100 people (although other agencies are reporting hundreds) are reported to have gathered for the candlelight ceremony on Mother Theresa.

2030 CET:  A demonstration appears to be occurring near the University as the intersection nicknamed "Suicide Junction" for its frequent accidents.  It is possible that the demonstration that started at 1800 CET may be progressing though town.  It has been said that a third person has died of their injuries.