Kosovar minister calls attacks on police ‘terrorist acts’

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — Authorities in Kosovo on Friday condemned a recent series of armed attacks on police in which automatic rifles and hand grenades were used as acts of terrorism.

Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla said the latest attack occurred on Friday morning when a police patrol came under fire from an AK-47 assault rifle and a hand grenade near Zubin Potok, 55 kilometers (35 miles) north of the capital Pristina. Three other attacks on police took place in the previous two days.

Svecla said that none of these attacks aimed at scaring or eliminating police officers achieved their goal.

Police Chief Saturdayn Mehmeti said two police vehicles were damaged but had bulletproof windshields protecting the occupants.

Mehmeti added that the previous evening, 30 bullets had been fired from inside Serbian territory at a police patrol near a path used by smugglers.

Svecla accused Serbia of trying to destabilize Kosovo.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, a decision recognized by the United States and most EU countries. Serbia has refused to recognize Kosovo as a separate nation after 11 years of EU-brokered negotiations.

The US Embassy said it was “deeply concerned” by recent reports of gunfire directed at police and strongly condemned “this deplorable and unjustifiable violence”. He also warned against speculation that would increase tensions.

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