I continue to take heat for my support of the Serbs (Christians) in Clinton’s Bosnian misadventure. We were on the wrong side in that war and the consequences of Clinton’s perfidy continue to reverberate in that region.
Albanian and Kosovo Muslims are openly attacking another country (Macedonia), creating another potential war zone in Europe.
KUMANOVO, Macedonia (AP) — Fighting between police forces and members of an armed group has continued for a second day in the northern Macedonian town of Kumanovo, raising concern about the political stability in the Balkan nation that has a history of ethnic hostilities.
Local TV channel Telma on Sunday reported that three other police officers died early Sunday due to severe injuries sustained in the fighting, increasing the death toll of officers to eight. At least another 30 were injured in an exchange of fire between special police forces and an armed group that started in the town on Saturday.
Armed clashes on Macedonia-Kosovo border: five police killed,” The Telegraph, May 8, 2015
Macedonian authorities say armed group was planning terrorist incursions
Macedonia, hit by a deep political crisis, was further shaken Saturday when five police officers killed in clashes with an armed group near the Kosovo border, with some reports talking of fatalities.
The clashes erupted during a dawn raid by police in the northern town of Kumanovo after the authorities “received information on the movement of an armed group,” a police spokesman told reporters.
Local media said the police operation, which was still ongoing Saturday evening, targeted a part of the town populated mainly by ethnic Albanians.
Police spokesman Ivo Kotevski said members of the armed group have illegally entered Macedonia from a neighbouring country and were planning a “terrorist attack” on the state institutions.
The gunmen, who were well-armed and had supporters in Kumanovo, he said, without elaborating on their nationality.
However, local media suggested they came from neighbouring Kosovo, populated mostly by ethnic Albanians.
In 2001, Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian rebels staged an insurgency in the Balkans country.
During Saturday’s police operation in Kumanovo, officers were met with “violent resistance” from snipers, grenades and automatic weapons, Kotevski said.
Members of a family leave a district of Kumanovo as black smoke billows over houses (EPA)
Three policemen who sustained serious injuries were taken to hospital in the capital Skopje, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) to the south, Dragan Tasevski, a hospital doctor in Kumanovo, told reporters. A fourth was treated locally.
The US embassy in Skopje issued a statement voicing condolences “to the families of the people killed and to those injured.” Contacted by AFP police said it could not comment on the information until the operation was over.
Local media reported that three police officers were killed and some 30 members of the armed group arrested, but there was no immediate independent confirmation.
Armoured police vehicles were deployed across Kumanovo, with officers clad in bullet-proof jackets as helicopters hovered overhead, according to an AFP photographer.
Shooting continued on Saturday evening, while dozens of people, mostly women with children and elderly were leaving the affected zone, some of them being evacuated by police, according to the photographer.
Police admitted that the operation was carried out in “difficult terrain”.
Citizens step out from an from an armored police vehicle after being evacuated, in Kumanovo (EPA)
The incident comes less then three weeks after around 40 ethnic Albanians from neighbouring Kosovo briefly seized control of a police station on Macedonia’s northern border, demanding the creation of an Albanian state in Macedonia.
Ethnic Albanians make up around one quarter of Macedonia’s 2.1 million people.
Both Albania and Kosovo, as well as Macedonia’s ethnic Albanian junior ruling party DUI strongly condemned Saturday’s clashes and called for calm.
In Tirana, the foreign ministry in a statement called for restraint “to prevent further deterioration of the situation which is not in favour of Macedonia’s democratic stability and prosperity.”
Pristina echoed the view as its foreign ministry called “all sides to find a solution through a political dialogue.”
Serbia sent additional forces on its border with both Kosovo and Macedonia, state-run Tanjug news agency reported.
The 2001 Macedonian conflict ended with an agreement providing more rights to the community, but ties between ethnic Macedonians and Albanians remain scarred.
Meanwhile, Macedonian opposition leader Zoran Zaev called on conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to address the public and “explain who was “destabilising” the country and for what reason, a statement said.
Since the beginning of the year, the government and the centre-left opposition have communicated only through public exchanges of accusations, including claims of wiretapping and million-euro bribes.
The crisis has not only undermined Macedonia’s already weak institutions, it has also sparked concerns within the 28-nation European Union, which it is seeking to join.
The former Yugoslav republic is also battling an economic crisis, with unemployment running at 28 percent.
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