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Police in Kosovo seize large amount of weapons, ammunition, arrest former officer

Anadolu Agency EUROPE
Published May 15,2024

Police in Kosovo seized a large amount of weapons and ammunition Tuesday in the north of the country, where Serbs represent a majority.

Internal Affairs Minister Xhelal Svecla said terrorist groups had planned to use the weapons in attacks on Kosovo institutions.

The weapons, ammunition and military and police equipment were seized in the town of Zvecan and a former member of the Kosovo Police was arrested.

The police connected the seizure with previous seizures of weapons in the north, primarily in Banjska.

''In every day of our work, we are uncovering the extent of crime and weapons capacities that criminal groups in the north have had or plans to attack our officers and our institutions,'' said Svecla on Facebook.

Svecla said that Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic is behind the attacks in Kosovo.

''It is clear who is behind this activity as well as after other armament depots, attacks on our officials, KFOR members, journalists and citizens. The same ones in the Banjska attack, who are sheltered in Serbia, are protected and glorified by Alexander Vucic,'' he said.

Svecla in an extraordinary press conference in North Mitrovica said that 10 automatic rifles, plastic explosives, stun grenades, vests, uniforms belonging to the Serbian army and parts of the uniform of the Kosovo Police were confiscated.

"Preparations have been made for Kosovo's institutions, especially the police, to be attacked by a terrorist group led by (Milan) Radoicic," he said.

Radoicic, a politician and wealthy businessman, has ties to the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) and Vucic.

Tensions in the north of Kosovo reached their peak on the morning of Sept. 24 last year, when armed Serbs blocked a road and opened fire in Banjska village, where mostly Serbs live.

The clash resulted in the death of a police officer.

Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti announced that a heavily armed group of approximately 30 people attacked the Kosovo Police. Kurti held Serbia responsible for the incident.

The armed group, which took shelter in Banjska Monastery and its surroundings, was surrounded by the police and clashes continued in the region throughout the day.

Svecla announced that at least three attackers were killed in the operation in Banjska and six people were detained, including two attackers and four who supported the attack via radio connections.

Vucic confirmed that the incident was committed by Kosovo Serbs. Radoicic took responsibility for the events and was released on condition of judicial control after being detained in Serbia.

Interpol issued a red notice for the arrest of Radoicic and the other attackers in December last year.