Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Serb youth stabbed in northern Kosovo, tensions soar

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Ethnic tensions soared in northern Kosovo on Tuesday after a Serb teenager was stabbed and seriously injured, allegedly by a group of ethnic Albanian youths, witnesses and officials said.

A few hundred Serbs took to the streets of the ethnically divided town after hearing that the 19-year-old, identified as Milosav Ilincic, was attacked in the mostly Serb-populated part of the town by a group of young men from the southern, ethnic Albanian part of Kosovska Mitrovica.

Kosovo's chief U.N. official Soren Jessen-Petersen condemned the stabbing and asked police to launch an investigation, a U.N. statement said.

"I deeply regret and am shocked to learn about this deplorable incident," he added, urging restraint.

Police spokesman Sami Mehmeti confirmed a teenager was stabbed, but did not provide the ethnicity of the victim or the circumstances of the attack. He said 200 demonstrators were protesting.

Kosovo Serb leader Milan Ivanovic said Ilincic was attacked while standing with his girlfriend near a bridge over the Ibar river that separates the mostly Serb northern part of town from the ethnic Albanian south.

Ilincic was rushed to a hospital where officials, who declined to be immediately identified, said he was admitted with three deep stab wounds and was undergoing surgery for a ruptured liver and two head injuries.

Kosovska Mitrovica, 45 kilometers (30 miles) north of the province's capital, Pristina, has been ethnically divided since the 1998-1999 Kosovo war. Kosovo is now a U.N. protectorate.

The critical bridge between the two communities in Kosovska Mitrovica had been guarded by NATO peacekeepers and members of the U.N. police until last summer, when it was reopened for traffic.

After the incident, however, the bridge was closed again to civilian use until further notice, Mehmeti said.

Ivanovic claimed that ethnic Albanian members of the Kosovo Police Service were near the scene of the incident when the alleged stabbing occurred, but failed to intervene and possibly even encouraged the attackers to run back to the ethnic Albanian part of town.

Also Tuesday, U.N. envoy Albert Rohan, mediating in ongoing talks on Kosovo's future, met with Kosovo's pro-independence ethnic Albanian leaders in Pristina. He is expected to visit the northern, mostly Serb-populated area on Wednesday.

17 comments:

tironsi said...

I don't know who stabbed him or for what motive, but regardless the police have to start solving these cases and punishing the perpetrators. Words are not enough.

tironsi said...

Additionally, can't they put some cameras on this bridge. It seems like something is always happening there. Having live audio and video on there would help a lot, and the cost would be miniscule. That way they wouldn't have to keep dealing with the serbs say this and the albanians say that, and no one really knows what happened.

Anonymous said...

I think there are some cameras on the bridge. At any rate there are plenty of French soldiers who very often stop groups of young people from going across despite the lifting of the blockade. The Cultural Center is on the bridge and if you come late to a program or if it's filled up they very often don't allow people across. Plus if you are on the South side you have to go through the confidence zone which is patrolled by police.However, if this group went across the smaller bridge it might be a different issue. That bridge goes into Suhodolli more or less and is not patrolled regularly even though it is near the French base in Mitro.

Anyway, I suppose if you really want to cause trouble you can. Most people had gotten used to the bridge being open and I've even gone over in KS plates (not far up North but on the Albanian sections and up to the mountains) so I imagine there is a certain level of laissez-faire attitude since nothing really ever happened until now.

It's a strange feeling since I live near that bridge and a couple of weeks ago I was walking back and forth across that bridge regularly and I know people who do that every day without thinking about it and then something like this brings you right back to reality. I'll be back there on the weekend and will be interested to see what the situation is now.

Independent Kosova said...

Take pictures. I hear serbs guard that part of the country with snipers from high buildings, I find it amazing how supposively some Albanian goes all the way up there, murders someone, no one sees him/her, and makes it back without no real evidence...like being caught on tape.

Anonymous said...

I think that's probably untrue. I've been over on the North enough and have looked over it enough times that I would have the opportunity to see a sniper (and why would people regularly go to the other side if snipers were there? ) Further, Mitro is always well patrolled by air and ground.

I think this was an aonmaly of sorts brought on by all the tension that's been happening with the status etc...For the most part Mitro's biggest problem is ODC: ordinary decent crime as they used to say in N.Ireland

Anonymous said...

People are stabbed (and killed) every day due to racial and ethnic tensions. Take a look at what goes on in Los Angeles every single day. It happens.

Singidunum said...

"People are stabbed (and killed) every day due to racial and ethnic tensions. Take a look at what goes on in Los Angeles every single day. It happens."

What would you say if something like that happens to a Albanian in Presevo? It happens? Or maybe would you start talking about how Serbs are renewing ethnic cleansing?

singidunum said...

...oh yeah

and all of you talking about snipers:

How many people have been shot at by these snipers? And please back your claims by some valid sources.

All the best

Anonymous said...

I would never say that we should blase because someone is stabbed or killed in a hate crime. It's why in the U.S. there are additional years tacked on to your sentence if it is found that you committed a crime out of hate. I agree with Tironsi that it is time to put a stop to all this and the police have to crack down on these crimes and all others as well. It is ridiculous how the ODC situation is just out of control with violent muggings and car thefts and the like. And I blame the international community for that. How can the one place in the world that is controlled top to bottom by the international community have so much random crime. If they know so well how to control things then how is it that you have so many police and soldiers from around the world and yet we still have to deal with this situation?

Worse yet the Mitro situation happened right when Rohan was in Prishtina with Ahtissari's return documents.

Mir said...

"What would you say if something like that happens to a Albanian in Presevo? It happens? Or maybe would you start talking about how Serbs are renewing ethnic cleansing?"

Good question.

Anonymous said...

I talked to someone in Mitro today and his reaction was basically: whatever. And no real concern either way and he mentioned that he was busy working the whole time and really hadn't noticed or taken part in anything and didn't find out much about it until he heard on the radio. But basically no one (in the South) was really talking about it.

That's a good thing in a way.

ivan said...

"I talked to someone in Mitro today and his reaction was basically: whatever.......... But basically no one (in the South) was really talking about it.

That's a good thing in a way. "

thats not a good thing. Whats whatever supposed to mean... one serb less, 70 thousand more to go.

Thse kind of acts should not only be condemned by the politicians and officials but by people as well.

Anonymous said...

It is a good thing because it means that people care more about the future than fighting the Serbs who are essentially the past. I don't want to see people fighting in the streets or rioting again and if the first step to that reaction is non-reaction than so be it.

Of course for racists like you starting trouble is pretty much all you care about.

ivan said...

Anonymous,

read my post more carefully and i am saying that its not good to not to care that an innocent young man almost got killed because he was standing on the public bridge.

For you he is a Serb, but for me we are all human beings. Thats the difference between you and me.

Anonymous said...

I read your post and all of your posts and you are a racist. All you care about are the Serbs and their domination of Kosova so how racist is that?

I'm not an Albanian or a Serb so I don't have a dog in this race technically but having lived in the region in since the wars and even in Belgrade for six months there is no way any sane, non-racist person could agree with your worldview. You should be ashamed of yourself and the fact that you spend your time here taunting Albanians for what pleasure? Shows what a sick and ridiculous person you are. You who know nothing about the world and nothing about Kosovo/a from the K-Serb or the K-Albanian point of view. How can I take anything seriously from some idiot who has never even been to Kosova TODAY and has no clue about how the rest of the world works. Everything you post on this board is just what you must see and hear on RTS and TV Pink from Belgrade. The only thing worthwhile in reading your posts is to see what bilge they come up with next.

Mir said...

"I read your post and all of your posts and you are a racist. All you care about are the Serbs and their domination of Kosova so how racist is that?

I'm not an Albanian or a Serb so I don't have a dog in this race technically but having lived in the region in since the wars and even in Belgrade for six months there is no way any sane, non-racist person could agree with your worldview. You should be ashamed of yourself and the fact that you spend your time here taunting Albanians for what pleasure? Shows what a sick and ridiculous person you are. You who know nothing about the world and nothing about Kosovo/a from the K-Serb or the K-Albanian point of view. How can I take anything seriously from some idiot who has never even been to Kosova TODAY and has no clue about how the rest of the world works. Everything you post on this board is just what you must see and hear on RTS and TV Pink from Belgrade. The only thing worthwhile in reading your posts is to see what bilge they come up with next. "

And there are no racist Kosovo Albanians right? If we just showed them love they would love us back?


I am not a racist, I can tolerate people and their culture/society and enjoy learning about the various nationalities. But sometimes I cant tolerate the PERSONAL VIEWS OF OTHER INDIVIDUALS. WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT RACE THEY ARE. I assume that applies with many of the Albanian posters on here. Hope that means anything to you.

Anonymous said...

"I read your post and all of your posts and you are a racist. All you care about are the Serbs and their domination of Kosova so how racist is that?

I'm not an Albanian or a Serb so I don't have a dog in this race technically but having lived in the region in since the wars and even in Belgrade for six months there is no way any sane, non-racist person could agree with your worldview. You should be ashamed of yourself and the fact that you spend your time here taunting Albanians for what pleasure? Shows what a sick and ridiculous person you are. You who know nothing about the world and nothing about Kosovo/a from the K-Serb or the K-Albanian point of view. How can I take anything seriously from some idiot who has never even been to Kosova TODAY and has no clue about how the rest of the world works. Everything you post on this board is just what you must see and hear on RTS and TV Pink from Belgrade. The only thing worthwhile in reading your posts is to see what bilge they come up with next."

The world isnit that simple, After all the history of Albania and Serbia and all the wars, you cant expect people from either groups to not have negative opinions of eachother, even though i doubt that the person your talking about is racist, i think Serbia and Albania and their people can cooperate and live peacefully with eachother, but it will be a long time from now