PRISTINA-A Kosovo police officer and three gunmen have been killed after about 30 attackers stormed a village before barricading themselves in a monastery, police say. Prime Minister Albin Kurti has urged the gunmen in the village of Banjska near the Serbian border to surrender. He blamed “Serbia-sponsored criminals”. Serbia has not commented.
The Nato-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo says it has troops in the area and is ready to respond if required. Sunday’s shooting began at about 03:00 (01:00 GMT), after police said they arrived in Banjska where a blockade had been reported. Officers were attacked from several different positions with “an arsenal of firearms, including hand grenades and shoulder-fired missiles”, they said in a statement. “We can see armed people in uniforms... they are firing on us and we are firing back,” Kosovo police official Veton Elshan told AFP. Mr Kurti said they were “professionals, with military and police background”.
The Serbia Orthodox Church said that gunmen had stormed a monastery in the village, located in Leposavic, where pilgrims from the northern Serbian city of Novi Sad were staying.