Explosion near checkpoint, shooters target firefighters

The situation is calm on Tuesday morning in northern Kosovo, after two separate incidents were reported from the area late on Monday.

Source: Beta, Tanjug

A strong explosion was heard near the Brnjak checkpoint on the administrative line between northern Kosovo and central Serbia, which was followed by a shooting incident in Kosovska Mitrovica.

No one was injured, and no damage was done in either incident.

The explosion took place at a still unknown location between the Tabalije checkpoint - manned by Serbian MUP officers - and Brnjak itself, where members of KFOR, EULEX, and Kosovo police, KPS, are deployed.

An EULEX spokesperson in Priština said that KFOR had taken over the investigation, without giving any other details.

Only half an hour later, at around 19:30 CET, Serb firefighters were shot at in northern Kosovska Mitrovica, but escaped unharmed.

Eyewitnesses were quoted as saying that an unknown person opened fire as others were placing Albanian flags on street poles.

Representatives of the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija said that the group consisted of three persons driving in a red Fiat Brava vehicle, and shooting from an automatic rifle and a pistol.

Kosovska Mitrovica Mayor Krstimir Pantić warned of serious clashes in Kosovo, and said that he demanded swift reaction and condemnation from the international community, as well as deployment of their forces in the area, calling at the same time on the citizens to remain calm and not respond to provocations.

Pantić confirmed that the attackers targeted Serb firefighters.

"The citizens who witnessed the event noticed a group that was placing Albanian flags on street poles in Oslobođenja St., and after they (the group) saw firefighters in their uniforms, they used the opportunity to open fire against them," the mayor said.

Pantić also addressed the explosion near Brđane to say that Serbs "had reason to fear that too was perpetrated by Albanians, with the goal of once again accusing Serbs ahead of the UN Security Council session dedicated to Kosovo".

The shooting incident happened in Bošnjačka Mahala, one of the several multi-ethnic areas of northern Kosovska Mitrovica that are home to both Serbs and ethnic Albanians.

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