Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Four Killed in Border Shoot-Out

Four people have been killed in a shoot-out with Macedonian police at the Kosovo border area.  Macedonian police reportedly tried to stop a van suspected of carrying arms when the occupants opened fire.  The police returned fire and killed four passengers in the van which turned out to be carrying a large amount of weapons and explosives.  This is the second such case in the past week or two with arms smuggling from Kosovo into Macedonia.  The Kosovo-Macedonia border area is notorious for being a smuggling route for weapons and was the focal point for an armed conflict in 2001 which threatened to break into a civil war in Macedonia between ethnic Albanians and Macedonians.  Already NATO has expressed concern over the recent smuggling seizures and shoot-outs.

The fall-out over the raid of the Kosovo Ministry of Transportation by EULEX authorities continues.  The coalition government between LDK (Democratic League Party) and PDK (Democratic Party – yeah, I know.  They basically have the same name!) is reportedly shaky after the investigation into alleged corruption by the Ministry was revealed by EULEX.  Kosovo Prime Minister Haschim Thaci has accussed EULEX of making a media circus and of intefering with the judicial system.  The acting chief prosecutor, Johann van Vreeswijk,  for the case has defended EULEX’s actions by saying that the raid was conducted in proportion to the seriousness of the case and that it has been so ordered by the judge.  He also warned those involved in corruption and organized crime to “start sweating” and expressed dissatisfaction at Thaci’s remarks that EULEX was conducting a “political war”.

More news has come out on the mass grave discovered near the Kosovo border in Serbia.  The grave thought to contain approximately 250 remains was discovered under a parking lot and building in the town of Rudnica.  The building and parking lot in the small village were constructed in 1999 should have raised suspicion according to an investigative journalist and the Serbian war crimes prosecutor has stated that EULEX gave a key tip to assist in the location of the grave.

MTCowgirl’s Kosovo News
  • Mass grave find shows Serbia slowly facing up to the past
  • Kosovo bans Serbian buses and public transportation from Gracanica due to licensing
  • Serbia issues notices on 150 Kosovars suspected of war crimes
  • Serbian telecomms re-established in Kosovo