Friday, September 30, 2005

In the News: Serbia's Policemen arrested in Kosovo & Update on Serbian officer shooting

This is the kind of thing that gives local Albanians the willies. According to this story, which is also posted at Serbianna, two Serbian Interior Ministry police officers were arrested south of Prishtina, where they are prevented by law from operating. Further down the article you’ll read that group calling itself "Serbian Voluntary Guard" claimed responsibility for shooting the Serbian police chief a few days ago. Weird.

I’m not trying to be overtly political in this blog. I do, however, want to get news out to you so you can understand what is happening here AND so that you can be praying for peace in Kosova with understanding.

PRISTINA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Police in Kosovo arrested two members of an elite Serb police unit in the southeast of the province, a Kosovo police spokesman said Friday.

The two Serb officers -- armed and carrying identification issued by Serbia's Interior Ministry -- were arrested near the village of Brod, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of province's capital Pristina and close to a Serb enclave, police spokesman Refki Morina said.

Kosovo police confronted the two men, who were identified as member of an anti-terrorist unit known as the "Gendarmerie," Morina said. He said one of the men tried to draw his gun, but was stopped by Kovovo police.

A police spokeswoman in Serbia confirmed the arrests, but could not provide further details.

Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations and patrolled by NATO-led peacekeepers since 1999 after the alliance pushed the Serb forces out of the province. Under the deal that ended the war, Serbia's police and army are prevented from operating in Kosovo.

The arrest occurred in the area which has seen a spate of attacks in recent weeks, including the shooting and wounding of a Kosovo Serb police chief Wednesday.

Police in Kosovo offered a reward Friday for information on the shooting and wounding of Col. Dejan Jankovic, the highest ranking Serb member of Kosovo's police force.

They offered a euro5,000 (US$6,000) reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunmen who wounded Jankovic, the recently appointed police commander for the eastern part of the province.

Jankovic received light injuries in his hand when his car came under fire in the southern part of the province.

A previously unknown group calling itself "Serbian Voluntary Guard" claimed responsibility for the shooting, in a written statement sent to local media. The group said they have shot Jankovic "because he has betrayed his people," and warned other Serbs not to work in Kosovo's predominantly ethnic Albanian institutions.

This disputed U.N.-run province remains divided between its independence-seeking ethnic Albanians and minority Serbs. Talks to resolve the disputed province's status are likely to start by the end of the year.

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