Monday, March 17, 2008

UN Retakes UN Court in N.Mitrovica

1400 CET: Reports from this morning are that approximately 30 UN Special Police, at least 22 Polish, and 8 French KFOR soldiers were injured in this mornings operation and violent riot. UN police were ordered to evacuate North Mitrovica as a result. One can only wonder who was the brain-child behind having the operation to storm the courthouse on the anniversary of the March 2004 riots...kind of makes you go "hmm" or "duh"! Police used tear gas & stun grenades to dispere the rioters and there are reports that they came under fire from automatic weapons in addition to facing grenades and Molotov cocktails. 20 Serb demonstrators are reported to have been injured in the mornings events and there is a rumor that one Serb was shot and killed while another is seriously injured. There is also information that one international officer was shot. There is a quite good picture of the UN vehicle set alight in the Telegraph.

1000 CET: UN Special Police backed by NATO peacekeepers stormed the UN Courthouse in N.Mitrovica arresting 53 Serbian demonstrators who had been holed up in the building since last Friday's demonstation. Three UN police and two NATO peacekeepers were reported to be injured during an apparent hand grenade explosion during the operation. Thousands of Serbs turned up to protest the retaking of the court, stopped a UN convoy transporting the courthouse detainees releasing approximately 20 people, and activated an air raid siren during the demonstration. There are rumors that the UN police were ordered to evacuate N.Mitrovica following the demonstration. There are some reports of a few UN vehicles attacked and at least one set on fire during the course of the operation and subsequent demonstration.