KFOR fires at Serbs, seven injured

Published on September 27, 2011, B92, Tanjug, Beta

Category: Violence Against Christian Serbs and Their Holy Places

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA -- Kosovska Mitrovica Health Center Director Milan Jakovljevic says seven persons who were injured at the Jarinje checkpoint earlier today have been hospitalized.

According to him, six persons sustained serious injuries from live rounds and one person has been taken to the ophthalmology ward due to eye problems caused by tear gas.

“Nobody is in a life-threatening condition so far,” Jakovljevic stressed.

KFOR said, however, that the troops had only used rubber bullets when they fired at the protesters at the Jarinje checkpoint.

The KFOR headquarters stated it had received no information about casualties and supposed use of live bullets.

Jakovljevic added that shots had also been fired at the ambulance but that the medical team that had been giving medical attention to the injured Serbs had not been injured.

KFOR Deputy Spokesman Kai Gudenoge stated Tuesday that KFOR soldiers were forced to fire rubber bullets in self-defense at the Serbs gathered on the road to the Jarinje administrative crossing in northern Kosovo.

“The Serbs were stoning the German soldiers, one of whom was hit, so the soldiers were forced to fire rubber bullets in self-defense,” he told AFP.

Gudenoge stressed that the situation was now absolutely peaceful, noting, however, that this could change at any moment.v

KFOR troops threw flash bombs and tear gas and fired rubber bullets at local Serbs who gathered at the Jarinje checkpoint around 13:00 CET.

U.S. KFOR troops used tear gas early on Tuesday to disperse Serbs and remove a barricade from an alternative road that leads from Jarinje to central Serbia.

Local Serbs, who spent the night at the barricades, told Beta news agency earlier on Tuesday that the troops had been brutal, that they had used tear gas and that they tied up young men who had been present.

One of them received medical attention at the Raška hospital. Four Serbs have been arrested and later released. The U.S. troops threaten to shoot anyone who comes close to the barbed wire at the Jarinje administrative checkpoint.

vKFOR troops removed the barricades made of dirt and gravel.

They have also announced that starting from Tuesday morning they will arrest anyone who uses the alternative road around Jarinje. German troops arrested and soon after released two people at the alternative road around 7:00 CET on Tuesday.

An incident broke out around 10:30 CET when several citizens threw rocks at KFOR troops who responded by using tear gas. The clash quickly ended when Leposavic Mayor Branko Ninic called on the citizens to remain calm and to peacefully fight for their legitimate requests.

The night was peaceful at the other barricades in northern Kosovo.

KFOR removed a sand barricade from Jarinje last night, but Serbs who came to the administrative checkpoint in great numbers managed to set up a new barricade on the main road leading to Rudnica and kept watch at an alternative road that connects this part of Kosovo with central Serbia.

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