Mayors meet after series of incidents in K. Mitrovica
The mayors of northern and southern Kosovska Mitrovica have said that "a series of unfortunate events" had "upset people" in both parts of the town.Source: Beta, Tanjug
The northern Kosovo town is divided into its southern, ethnic Albanian, and northern, mostly Serb parts.
In addition, Goran Rakic and Agim Bahtiri agreed that the current situation was "very unstable, and threatens to escalate into possible new incidents unless both sides push for an urgent easing of tensions and establishment of order."
As an emergency measure, they mentioned the necessity of increasing the presence of international security forces, according to a joint statement issued after the meeting held in the southern part over the weekend.
"This meeting is part of our efforts to work immediately in order to defuse tensions," announced Rakic and Bahtiri and agreed to seek an urgent meeting this week with top officials of the Kosovo police and international representatives.
The mayors also urged residents to remain calm, not to respond to possible provocations, "but also to the emotional charge that currently exists on both sides."
The series of incidents in Kosovska Mitrovica began on Thursday when a group of unidentified persons crossed the bridge from the southern part of the town and attempted to murder a 17-year-old Serb. The following day Albanian and Bosniak youths came under attack in northern Kosovska Mitrovica in three separate incidents, when three Albanians and two Bosniaks suffered light injuries.
Two Serbs have also been detained over the disappearance of a 17-year-old Albanian in the northern part of the town, local radio Kontakt Plus reported.
The report said that it is assumed that the missing Albanian was among a group attempted to commit theft in the northern part of Mitrovica and that he "disappeared" as they were fleeing the scene.
A search has been mounted in the Ibar River, with divers from the Kosovo Security Force taking part based on a decision made by KFOR, at the request of the regional Kosovo Police.
Earlier, the chief of the administration of the Northern Mitrovica Municipality, Adrijana Hodzic, told reporters that "minors" were behind the recent incidents in the town.