Macedonia Was Aware of Danger Posed by Kumanovo Attackers

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | May 11, 2015, Monday // 09:01
Bulgaria: Macedonia Was Aware of Danger Posed by Kumanovo Attackers Police officers secure a street in Kumanovo, Macedonia, May 10, 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Macedonia warned early this year 17 European states of the activities of the group whose attack in Kumanovo left 8 police officers dead, the country's President has said.

According to Gorge Ivanov, who made his comments at Macedonia's National Security Council session held in the capital Skopje Sunday, the group which carried out the assault had been planning "mass destabilization" through a number of attacks across the country.

Both "EU and NATO" members, as well as "neighboring countries", were warned, Ivanov said, asserting authorities were doing "everything" not to allow ethnic tensions.

So far the National Liberation Army, which is considered to be the Macedonian offshoot of the Kosovo Liberation Army, has claimed responsibility.

However, the government in Skopje has stopped short of naming the armed group which was behind the tragic events, even though provided several names of killed perpetrators.

As many as 14 bodies were found at the site of an hours-long shootout which took place Saturday in Kumanovo, the Interior Ministry earlier announced. About 30 suspected attackers who were detained are due to be interrogated on Monday.

Police withdrew from Kumanovo late on Sunday, and some locals booed at officers calling them "murders", according to BGNES news agency.
Meanwhile, a report run by a Macedonian TV station, TV Kohavision, suggested that some 700 Macedonian Albanians had arrived  in Kosovo and Presevo (the latter being a region in Southern Serbia populated by Albanians were there has been occasional unrest) since Saturday.

They reportedly told local authorities they were scared off by the substantial presence of Macedonian security forces in Kumanovo during the special operation.

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Tags: macedonia, Kumanovo, attack, Gorge Ivanov, kosovo, Presevo
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