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KFOR: 25 soldiers were injured in the north of Kosovo

2023-05-29 20:25:49, Kosova & Bota CNA

KFOR: 25 soldiers were injured in the north of Kosovo

At least 25 soldiers of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, KFOR, have been injured as a result of clashes with Serbian citizens in the municipality of Zveçan in the north of Kosovo, the mission announced through a press release.

"Resisting the crowd, some soldiers of the Italian and Hungarian contingent of KFOR were the object of unprovoked attacks and received trauma injuries with fractures and burns from the explosion of incendiary devices," the announcement states.

According to KFOR, the soldiers were treated in time by medical units and are currently under observation by medical personnel who are assessing their condition.

They announced that on Monday afternoon, KFOR units were sent to the 4 municipalities of northern Kosovo "to curb the violent demonstrations that occurred after the newly elected presidents tried to take office in recent days".

KFOR: 25 soldiers were injured in the north of Kosovo

KFOR said that the commander of the mission, Major General Angelo Michele Ristuccia, is personally monitoring the development of the situation.

"He emphasized that unprovoked attacks on NATO units are unacceptable and KFOR will continue to fulfill its mandate in an impartial manner," the announcement states.

Even the NATO Military Alliance condemned the attacks against the KFOR troops in the north of Kosovo.

Through a statement, the Alliance said that "such attacks are completely unacceptable".

"The violence must stop immediately. We call on all parties to refrain from actions that further fuel tensions and engage in dialogue," the Alliance said in a post on its official website.

In this post, it was underlined that KFOR will take all necessary actions to maintain a safe environment and that "it will continue to act impartially, in accordance with its mandate under Security Council Resolution 1244 of the United Nations of 1999".

Several injured KFOR members were seen on the streets of Zveçan after the intervention to disperse the Serbian protesters in Zveçan.

The mission intervened after warning the protesters in advance to disperse, but they did not obey.

Tear gas, fire and plumes of smoke engulfed the area, while sirens and explosions could also be heard.

"You are causing a disturbance. You are endangering yourself and your community. Leave the area and go home - otherwise KFOR will be forced to intervene," was KFOR's audio warning.

Since the morning of May 29, groups of Serbs have been protesting in Zveçan, Zubin Potok and Leposaviq.

Tensions reignited in Kosovo's northern municipalities after the mayors emerged from the April 23 emergency elections - all Albanians - were opposed by local Serbs.

On May 26, five policemen were injured during clashes with Serb protesters who threw stones at them. The police responded with stun grenades and tear gas.

The previous heads of the four municipalities in the north, North Mitrovica, Zubin Potok, Zveçan and Leposaviq, inhabited by a majority of Serbs, were from the Serbian List. However, they resigned in November last year, as a sign of dissatisfaction with a decision of the Government of Kosovo to re-register cars with RKS - Republic of Kosovo license plates.

The elections of April 23 were boycotted by the Serbian List and by the Serbian majority population in the north, which now does not accept the results, namely the new presidents./ REL

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