The embassies of the European Union and United States in Prishtina have called on the Kosovo government to refrain from alleged speculation regarding the origin of the firearm attack against its police on the border with Serbia.
On Friday, Minister of Interior Xhelal Svecla denounced an assault with a grenade and assault rifle on two Kosovo police cars transporting border police to their workplace at the checkpoint with Serbia.
“Our sources have identified yesterday’s attack as coming from Serbia,” Prime Minister Albin Kurti stated.
For three days in a row (April 13–15), Kosova Police officers have been attacked at the border crossing point with Serbia. Yesterday & early today, a hail of bullets & a hand grenade were thrown at our police. Our sources have identified yesterday’s attack as coming from Serbia. pic.twitter.com/2msSq7e2yJ
— Albin Kurti (@albinkurti) April 15, 2022
A few minutes later, the European Union condemned the attack but warned the government against “unnecessary speculation”:
“We call on all to avoid unnecessary speculation that may add to further tensions, noting that the investigation of the case is to be conducted by relevant law enforcement agencies,” they stressed.
We call on all to avoid unnecessary speculation that may add to further tensions, noting that the investigation of the case is to be conducted by relevant law enforcement agencies.
— European Union Kosovo (@EUKosovo) April 15, 2022
The US embassy also followed suit with a similar warning after condemning the attack: “We caution against speculation that would increase tensions and will condemn any efforts to impede this essential work.”
2/2: We strongly condemn this deplorable, unjustifiable violence. Law enforcement officials are responsible for investigating the situation. We caution against speculation that would increase tensions and will condemn any efforts to impede this essential work.
— Ambassador Jeff Hovenier (@USAmbKosovo) April 15, 2022
In October last year, criminal gangs dealing with smuggling in Serb-majority town of North Mitrovica attacked the Kosovo police with guns and grenades during an anti-smuggling operation, leaving six police officers injured and two cars burned down.
The Serbian government condemned the anti-smuggling operation as a provocation against Serbia. Prime Minister Ana Brnabic called on the international community to stop Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti’s “deranged policy”.
Petar Petkovic, a senior Serbian government official, assured Kosovo Serbs that “Serbia and President Aleksandar Vucic are behind them.”
Following the latest attack, Kurti assured Kosovo police will continue its fight against crime in the entire territory:
“This will neither deter nor stop us from our fight to protect [the] rule of law against organized crime & corruption in the entire territory of our Republic. I call on Serbia to condemn & distance itself from the violent terrorist attacks on our police, some of whom were Kosova Serbs,” the prime minister stated.