Friday, June 1, 2012

Shooting near Rudare

BELGRADE - ZVECAN- Gunshots were heard Friday in the area Zvecan, on the road to Rudare, which was blocked by KFOR early Thursday, and an ambulance was sent to the place from where the shots were fired, a Tanjug reporter on the scene said.

KFOR fired tear gas at Serbs who were trying to approach the barricade in Dudin Krs.

KFOR helicopters are flying over the area, and a mission's transporter is parked at the side of the bridge leading to the village of Rudare, which is also blocked since this morning.

A great number of citizens gathered at the Zvecan side of the bridge, including representatives of local self-governments of Kosovska Mitrovica and Zvecan, Krstimir Pantic and Dragisa Milovic respectively.

KFOR soldiers, however, did not let the ambulance from Kosovska Mitrovica to help the wounded. Mayor of Kosovska Mitrovica Dragisa Milovic told the citizens and the media that KFOR Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Lynch did not allow passage for neither the ambulance, nor the representatives of local self-governmnets.

Milovic urged the citizens to stay calm and not to provoke the members of KFOR, because they are ready to shoot.
Milovic accused KFOR of provoking the Serbs so that they could be blamed for incidents.

According to him, this exactly was the aim of KFOR's action carried out this morning, when they tried to remove the barricade at Dudin Krs. "Let them dismantle the barricade, but we must not let anyone get hurt," Milovic stresses.

KFOR launched Friday morning an operation of removal of a barricades in the vicinity of Rudare with a view to improvement of freedom of movement.

“Since 08.40 a.m. this morning KFOR is conducting a roadblock removal operation in the vicinity of Rudare. This activity is to improve freedom of movement not only for KFOR but also for international organizations and for all people in Kosovo,” reads a KFOR statement delivered to Tanjug.

“KFOR established numerous vehicle check points and secured areas for safety reasons. This is connected with the roadblock removal and remains temporarily”, the statement adds.

After the roadblock is removed the vehicle check points and secured areas will be released.
So far no incidents have been reported.

KFOR's mission is to contribute to a safe and secure environment and freedom of movement for all people in Kosovo. KFOR will continue to do so firmly, prudently and impartially, in full compliance with our mandate.

That is what our troops have been doing for the last 12 years at considerable risk to their own safety, the statement underlines.

KFOR urged all parties to avoid unilateral moves, inflammatory statements or violent acts.

KFOR is currently taking no action on roadblock in Rudare (north) as it is not closed to KFOR vehicle movements.
There are two barricades in the village of Rudare, Zvecan municipality, one is located inside of the village, while the other one on a bridge in Dudin Krs.

Ivanovic: Three wounded, risky move of KFOR

Oliver Ivanovic, state secretary with the Ministry of Kosovo-Metohija, stated Friday that at least three persons were wounded in a shooting which took place in the village of Rudare, Zvecan municipality, Kosovo-Metohija.

Ivanovic also said that he does not understand the motive of this action, and that KFOR has made “a very risky move”.
He said that he can see no other motive but strengthening of Pristina's position ahead of the talks with Belgrade.
Pristina and KFOR are using the institutional vacuum in Serbia in order to change the situation in the field, he said.

Ivanovic said for Belgrade TV B92 that this will sure be a tough day for Serbs in Kosovo-Metohija.
He added that helicopters are constantly flying over the bridge between Rudare and Zvecan, which has been blocked since
Friday morning and where there are about 150-180 soldiers.

“The situation is very tense, and according to the information that arrived so far three Serbs have been injured. The number of people rallying is increasing, which may lead to possible clashes,” Ivanovic warned.

He said that a message has been sent to KFOR through Serbia's competent ministries that the situation gives cause for concern and may escalate by the end of the day. The damage can be huge, and the relations between local Serbs and KFOR can go cold ending further communication between them.

When asked about Belgrade's possible reaction, Ivanovic said that the outgoing government can only make minor moves until the formation of a new one. KFOR members blocked Friday morning the bridge between Rudare and Zvecan with the intention of removing the barricade in Dudin Krs.

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