Kosovo: Serb man seriously injured at barricade

ZUBIN POTOK -- A 25-year-old Serb man was seriously injured on Monday near a barricade in northern Kosovo when he was struck by a car driven by an ethnic Albanian.

(Beta, file)
(Beta, file)

The Albanian was later severely beaten by the citizens gathered at the barricade, located near the village of Zupče.

According to a Kosovo police, KPS, spokesman, the incident happened around noon today when the Albanian passed through the barricade, traveling toward Zupče, and then attempted to go back the same way, this time toward southern Kosovska Mitrovica.

"On that occasion, he hit another car with a pregnant woman inside, who was fortunately not harmed, as well as a young Serb man who was nearby. After that, the persons gathered at the barricade in Zupče beat the driver and damaged his car," Besim Hoti was quoted as saying by Tanjug news agency.

Hoti also specified that the ethnic Albanian had a passenger in his vehicle - a woman - but that the Serbs did not attack her.

The injured Serb man reported to the hospital with both wrists broken.

The ethnic Albanian was taken by the KPS to the health-care center in Zubin Potok where he received medical treatment, after which he was detained at the local police station.

Serbs are the majority population north of the Ibar River, and they reject both the ethnic Albanian unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo made in early 2008, and the authority of the government in Priština.

They have been putting up barricades on roads in this part of the province since last summer, in reaction to Priština's attempts to install its customs and police on two administrative line crossings located between northern Kosovo and central Serbia.

Currently, the barricade at Zupče is blocking one lane of the road, while vehicles arriving from both directions can pass through in turns using the other lane.