40 Armed Men Storm Police Station in Macedonia, Take 4 Officers Hostage

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | April 21, 2015, Tuesday // 15:18
Bulgaria: 40 Armed Men Storm Police Station in Macedonia, Take 4 Officers Hostage File photo

Around forty armed men stormed a police department in the Macedonian village of Gosince near the border with Kosovo on Tuesday, taking four police officers hostages.

The attack occurred in the early hours of Tuesday, when the armed men, who spoke Albanian, stormed the building of the department and disarmed the four police officers, who were on duty.

The armed men gave the police officers half an hour to leave the police station before the group left the area and took the arms of the officers, the Macedonian Information Agency (MIA) reports.

Three of the police officers were left tied, while the fourth one remained untied and set his colleagues free once the group had left.

According to the Macedonian Interior Ministry, the group came from neighbouring Kosovo and wore insignia associated with the National Liberation Army (NLA).

The leader of the group made political statements on camera as his men tied the police officers, in which he referred to Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the leader of the ethnic Albanian coalition partner Ali Ahmeti and the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

The armed men identified them as members of the NLA, demanded their own state and threatened the police officers that neither Gruevski nor Ahmeti could help them.

The attackers rejected the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which ended the armed insurgency in 2001, and stated that they will kill Macedonian police officers if  they return to the police station.

Gosince, which is situated in a mainly ethnic Albanian part of Macedonia, was one of the villages, which was affected by the 2001 armed insurgency of NLA.

 The Macedonian Interior Ministry considered the incident a terrorist attack.

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Tags: incident, attack, armed insurgency, Ohrid Framework Agreement, hostage, police, KLA, Albania, kosovo, macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, Ali Ahmeti
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