Albanian group claims responsibility for attack on police

A group calling itself the National Liberation Army (Albanian: UCK) has claimed responsibility for Tuesday's incident in the Macedonian village of Gosnice.

Source: B92, Beta, RTS, Tanjug

This is according to the Albanian language media in Pristina, who said a statement to that effect was signed by "commander Flamuri," calling for "mobilization against repression and discrimination of Albanians."

The now disbanded so-called Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) has the same acronym (UCK) in Albanian.

The Macedonian police on Tuesday said that "40 armed persons, most likely coming from Kosovo," seized a police outpost.

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has called a meeting of top state official who will consider the security situation in the country.

The Macedonian police are now back in control of the Gosnice outpost, it has been confirmed. Police spokesman Ivan Kotevski said that "a group from Gnjilane (in Kosovo)" led by a Xhevahir Ademi, was likely responsible for the incident.

Macedonia's Alfa TV reported that the identity of five out of the 40 attackers has been confirmed, and that they were led by Ademi.

According to this source, they are all "well known to security services in the region."

Radio Free Europe interviewed a former National Liberation Army member who lives in the area, who said there were "no armed persons there."

Abedin Zimberi further asserted that the incident "seemed to be a government's scenario to deflect citizens' attention from what is happening in Macedonia."

Pristina-based Indeksonline website also claims that Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski "invented the attack that came from Kosovo" in order to deflect attention from a political crisis in his country.

The Albanian DUI party, a member of the ruling Macedonian coalition, led by Ali Ahmeti, said the incident was damaging "the Albanian agenda," and called on citizens "not to fall for provocations," urging authorities at the same time "to take responsibility and guarantee safety to citizens, and solve this case as soon as possible."

The locals, however, are saying that the incident in Gosnice came as no surprise, as they saw "a large group of unknown men in the village during the whole month," adding that this group "exerted certain pressures."

Pristina-based daily Lajm writes that "the possibility of the formation of 'armed Albanian structures' has been talked about for a while," and that the role of these structures would be "to provoke the Macedonian police and give it a reason to intervene."

The daily also advises locals in the Lipkovo municipality "to organize and isolate these groups before the possible police intervention, because the chaos that would follow would be hard to control."

The attack in Gosnice came 14 years after ethnic Albanians in Macedonia attacked the village of Tanusevac with two missiles, killing policeman Momir Stojanovski.

The "Albanian rebellion" that started in 2001 ended with the Ohrid Agreement.

During the past several months the Macedonian government building in Skopje came under attack three times, with "a certain Kushtimi on behalf of the National Liberation Army" claiming responsibility.


page 1 of 13 go to page