Europe on brink of another war as deadly attack in Kosovo something bigger

Europe was on the brink of another deadly war this month as tensions between Serbia and Kosovo flared up.

Both the United States and the European Union expressed concern earlier this week about what they said was an increased military deployment by Serbia’s border with its former province, and they urged Belgrade to scale down its troop presence there.

Kosovo’s government said Saturday it was monitoring the movements of the Serbian military from “three different directions.” It urged Serbia to immediately pull back its troops and demilitarise the border area.

Tensions have soared following the violence in northern Kosovo last Sunday involving heavily armed Serb gunmen and Kosovo police officers.

Kosovo police officer Afrim Bunjaku was killed in a clash between a police patrol unit and a group of armed ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo, on September 25 in Samadrexha village in Vushtrri.

READ MORE: Hundreds of British troops head to Kosovo as Serbian army mass on border

The clash was one of the worst since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008.

It even prompted NATO to announce it would beef up a peacekeeping force stationed in the country.

Serbia has denied Kosovo’s allegations that it trained the group of some 30 men who opened fire on police officers, leaving one dead, and then barricaded themselves in an Orthodox Christian monastery in northern Kosovo.

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Three insurgents died in the hours-long shootout that ensued.

Kosovo has also said it was investigating possible Russian involvement in the violence. Serbia is Russia’s main ally in Europe, and there are fears in the West that Moscow could try to stir trouble in the Balkans to avert attention from the war in Ukraine.

A police officer in Kosovo told Vice: “These attackers were part of something bigger, we know this from the amount of equipment.

“They had all these mortar shells but no mortar. Who was supposed to bring them the mortar?”

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