The Interior Minister speaks of an act of terrorism that was controlled from Serbia.
A parking lot in Mitrovica, in the Albanian part of the divided city in northern Kosovo. The police have laid out large quantities of weapons and ammunition on the ground. The items are said to have been confiscated in the Banjska monastery – a few kilometers away from here, where an armed group holed up for several hours on Sunday.
On display are six machine guns, hundreds of cartridges, eight mines, 150 sticks of dynamite, as well as armored vests, night vision devices and Serbian flags. An armored vehicle and 24 jeeps are also said to have been confiscated from the monastery.
Interior Minister suspects controlled terrorist act
Kosovo’s Interior Minister Xhelal Sveçla stands in the parking lot in front of the weapons and speaks of a planned attack, an act of terror controlled by Serbia. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic’s version that ordinary citizens armed themselves and resisted the oppression in Kosovo is false, said Sveçla.
The police found maps and plans in the monastery and in the vehicles that indicated a long, well-thought-out plan. “We are not dealing with local groups here, but with a terrorist organization that was controlled directly from Belgrade. An operation with such a large number of weapons needs to be prepared for several months.”
Serbian businessman involved?
Sveçla also claims to have found evidence of the most powerful Serb in northern Kosovo: Milan Radojcic. He is a businessman and is considered an important figure in organized crime. He is vice-president of the most influential Serbian party in northern Kosovo, Srpska Lista, and is considered a confidant of Serbian President Vucic. And he is said to have been involved in Sunday’s attack, according to the Kosovo Interior Minister.
“In the confiscated materials, we found documents from Milan Radojcic, the criminal who is blacklisted in the USA. The documents prove that he is connected to the attack or was even directly involved. We have, among other things, Radojcic’s firearms license. ”
Attackers kill Kosovo police officers
There was always talk of more than 30 people among the attackers. They first set up a roadblock consisting of two trucks at a bridge in Banjska and then fired at the arriving Kosovo police, killing one police officer. They then holed up in the nearby Banjska monastery for hours.
In the end there was talk of three dead attackers and six people arrested. A fourth death was confirmed yesterday. But where are the other 20+ attackers? New drone footage shows a few fighters fleeing the monastery on foot.
Some are said to have made it to Serbia, which was negotiated, say some experts such as Dusan Janjic of the Serbian non-governmental organization Forum for Ethnic Relations. “Getting the fighters out must have been a complicated political-diplomatic operation involving the international security forces in Kosovo, the KFOR protection force and the EULEX police mission. The fighters were then handed over to the Serbian authorities and were, for example, taken to the hospital in Novi Pazar.”
However, Kosovo’s Interior Minister Sveçla does not seem to agree with injured fighters being treated just across the border in Serbia. “According to our information so far, six wounded terrorists are being treated in the Novi Pazar hospital. We call on Serbia to immediately hand them over to the Kosovo authorities”
The Banjska incident will continue to be an issue. Serbian President Vucic wants to meet with the ambassadors of the so-called quintet – consisting of the USA, Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy.