Terrorist attack in Kosovo
A group of around 30 heavily armed gunmen attacked police officers in northern Kosovo on the weekend. According to the Ministry of the Interior in Pristina, one policeman and three attackers were killed before the gunmen barricaded themselves in a monastery. Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti called the attack an act of terrorism and blamed Serbia. Belgrade rejects the accusations.
Both sides may have vested interests
Both the Serbian and Kosovo governments could exploit the incident for their own purposes, Jutarnji list comments:
“More precise data is needed before any conclusions can be drawn. On the one hand, the attack could help Belgrade create a climate of instability during the ongoing government formation in Montenegro. The pro-Serbian parties want to be involved there and the conflict in Kosovo could be a warning that it would be better to let these political forces participate in the government rather than risk destabilisation. On the other hand, the Kosovo government could use the tragic incident to declare a state of emergency in northern Kosovo.”
A conflict that could quickly spread
An escalation of the conflict between Serbia and Kosovo would have unforeseeable consequences, Telegram warns:
“Kurti has no political leeway to back down. The same goes for Aleksandar Vučić, whose position could be undermined by the opposition demonstrations in Serbia. The result is a long-term and intractable stalemate — together with actors under pressure and a confused international situation, these are the ingredients for the worst-case scenario. ... Should the worst escalation occur, it would undoubtedly spill over into Bosnia and Herzegovina and most likely into Montenegro, with unforeseeable consequences for the entire region, but also for the EU.”