Dozens of citizens and about 25 KFOR members were injured today in clashes that occurred late in the afternoon in front of the Zvečan municipality building when the rallied Serbs refused, after hours of negotiations and protests, to let three armored police vehicles pass, requesting that all special units of the Kosovo police leave the municipal buildings in Zvečan, Leposavić, and Zubin Potok.
The Director of the Medical Center in Kosovska Mitrovica, Dr. Zlatan Elek, confirmed that 52 citizens sought medical assistance, including the former mayor of the municipality of Zvečan. A man named Č.S. was seriously injured, and one man’s condition is critical.
Around 25 KFOR soldiers were wounded while restraining demonstrators who were protesting in the municipality of Zvečan, KFOR confirmed.
„While countering the most active fringes of the crowd, several soldiers of the Italian and Hungarian KFOR contingent were the subject of unprovoked attacks and sustained trauma wounds with fractures and burns due to the explosion of incendiary devices“, the mission stated.
Italy’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani, who actively intervened to alleviate the crisis by speaking earlier today with Albin Kurti, announced in the afternoon that among the injured KFOR soldiers are 11 Italians, three of whom are inserious but not life-threatening condition.
The Kosovo police announced this evening that they arrested five people in connection with the attack on KFOR and the police themselves, confirming that Molotov cocktails and explosive devices were thrown, and shooting occurred.
One police vehicle was set on fire, and several vehicles were damaged. The Kosovo police confirms that the situation tonight is still „tense“, and claims that in Zvecan, as well as in other municipalities, „armed criminal groups/individuals, dressed in black and with masked clothing, are roaming“.
„The Kosovo police continue to manage the situation in coordination with KFOR and have begun an intensive investigation into the violence and attacks against the media, KFOR members, and the police,“ the police announced.
A new wave of condemnations arrives regarding the latest crisis in the North, but this time at the expense of the Serbs, or those who clashed with KFOR. International representatives who in previous days placed blame at the feet of Kosovo’s authorities and Prime Minister Albin Kurti, and urged them to refrain from unilateral and provocative actions, are now unanimous in the condemnation of violence towards KFOR soldiers (i.e. NATO) and journalists.
At least four journalist crews reported violence, mostly directed at their vehicles, with one car being set on fire in Zubin Potok, while one crew reported that they suffered a physical attack.
The conflict occurred when KFOR asked the Serbs who had gathered in protest to allow three armored police vehicles pass that were essentially trapped in the mass of people who had assembled since this morning in front of the municipal building to demand that the special police forces of Kosovo leave these buildings they forcibly occupied on Friday.
During the whole day, KFOR conducted shuttle diplomacy on the ground between the Srpska Lista and the police inside.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić in an emergency address to the media, called on Serbs in Kosovo not to „enter into conflict with NATO“.
„If the Albanian occupier starts shooting, the situation will be completely different. I told that to NATO,“ he said.
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