Kosovo: Blasts And Beatings Rock North

By Fatmir Aliu

Three incidents have rocked the northern, Serb-run part of Mitrovica in the last 24 hours, including two explosions and a beating of two Kosovo Albanians, one of who was left seriously injured, police said.

Police said that on Monday evening two Albanians aged 24 and 25 were assaulted while walking on foot in the northern, Serb-run part of the town of Mitrovica.

Kosovo
Kosovo

“The victims were attacked by a group of at least eight or nine persons, without motive. One victim had severe injuries in the head and was transported to the Central Clinic in Pristina,” Kosovo Police said.

Kosovo Police also reported on Monday that a car was blown up by an explosive device. The vehicle was aparently owned by an employee of the government’s Kosovo Office for Northern Mitrovica.

The third incident, according to the report, was reported on Tuesday morning, when a hand grenade was thrown at bar in northern Mitrovica.

No one was injured in the blast as the explosion occurred after midnight when the cafeteria was closed, but the report said that the “Tiha noc” bar was damaged.

The Serb-run north is under the de facto control of so-called parallel institutions that are funded by Serbia.

The region has long been a scene of interethnic violence between Kosovo Serbs and Albanians, a small minority in the north.

International security forces face serious problems working in the north, with limited freedom of movement due to the erection of dozens of barricades on roads since July last year.

The Albanian-led government in Pristina opened the Kosovo Office a month ago in an attempt to assert control over northern Kosovo and to offer services to people wishing to obtain Kosovo ID and passports.

But Serbs in the north have objected to its opening, rejecting any link with the Pristina authorities.


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Balkan Insight

Balkan Insight

The Balkan Insight (fornerkt the Balkin Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN) is a close group of editors and trainers that enables journalists in the region to produce in-depth analytical and investigative journalism on complex political, economic and social themes. BIRN emerged from the Balkan programme of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting, IWPR, in 2005. The original IWPR Balkans team was mandated to localise that programme and make it sustainable, in light of changing realities in the region and the maturity of the IWPR intervention. Since then, its work in publishing, media training and public debate activities has become synonymous with quality, reliability and impartiality. A fully-independent and local network, it is now developing as an efficient and self-sustainable regional institution to enhance the capacity for journalism that pushes for public debate on European-oriented political and economic reform.

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