Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti speaks during a press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz (unseen) at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, 04 May 2022. EFE-EPA/FILE/FILIP SINGER

Kosovo police officer killed in suspected terror attack

Belgrade, Sep 24 (EFE).- Prime Minister Albin Kurti said on Sunday that a suspected terror attack killed a Kosovo police officer and wounded another in a pre-dawn gun and bomb strike in a village near the Serbian border.

Kurti attributed attack in the northern village of Banjska of Leposavic province to the militants allegedly supported by neighboring Serbia.

The prime minister described the assailants as “masked professionals armed with heavy weapons,” who opened fire on a police patrol in the village, killing one officer and injuring another.

In a Facebook post, Kurti strongly condemned what he called a “criminal and terrorist attack” and suggested that it was part of an “organized crime with political, financial, and logistical support” from Belgrade.

The deceased police officer held the rank of a sergeant, while the injured officer was a member of the border protection force.

According to a police statement, the incident occurred when the cops went to Banjska to clear a road block.

Two trucks without license plates were parked on a bridge, obstructing access to the village near the border with Serbia.

When the police arrived, unknown persons opened fire and threw grenades at the patrol party.

President Vjosa Osmani has suspended her visit to New York after the attack.

Osmani said the incident was “orchestrated by Serbian criminal gangs,” describing it as an attack on “the sovereignty of the Republic of Kosovo.”

Tensions between the two countries have surged since minority ethnic Serbs began protesting earlier this year to call for newly-elected ethnic Albanian mayors to be removed from their positions.

Kosovo Serbs, who are a majority in the municipalities where the protests took place but are a minority overall in the rest of Kosovo, do not recognize the authority of the mayors elected in the April elections.

Kosovo, a former Serbian province with a majority ethnic-Albanian population, unilaterally declared independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, 2008.

More than 100 members of the United Nations consider Kosovo an independent nation. Serbia does not recognize it as a sovereign state. EFE