1 Killed, 2 Wounded in Clashes in Northern Kosovo

Posted November 9th, 2011 at 11:00 pm (UTC-5)
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One ethnic Serb was killed and two others wounded in a shootout that followed a clash with ethnic Albanians Wednesday evening in restive northern Kosovo.

Police spokesman Besim Hoti said one man succumbed to his wounds early Thursday in a hospital in the Serb-run part of the ethnically divided town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

The two injured Serbs, one of them a policeman, are reported to be in serious condition.

Hoti said the gunfire followed a quarrel between ethnic Albanians and Serbs. He said the quarrelling parties did not fire, but that the shots came from elsewhere. Local Serbs say ethnic Albanians opened fire on the Serbs.

Hoti said police backed by European Union special units are raiding homes in the area in search of evidence. No arrests have been made yet.

Kosovska Mitrovica has been the scene of intensified ethnic clashes since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, making Serbs a minority in the mostly ethnic Albanian region.

Kosovo's government condemned the attack and urged for calm on both sides amid growing worries the situation could escalate. Serbia's top official for Kosovo, Goran Bogdanovic, called the incident a “terrorist attack.”

Northern Kosovo and the border area between Kosovo and Serbia have been tense since July, as authorities in Kosovo try to establish the border control while Kosovo's ethnic Serbs fight it.