TIRANA, September 26 – Kosovan authorities have released a video they said implicates a top ethnic Serb businessman in an attack on an Orthodox monastery that left four people dead, including a police officer.
In a statement accompanying the video published on Facebook, Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla said that among the heavily armed men shown in the video, which he said was shot on September 24, apparently by drone, was Milan Radoicic, a construction tycoon who is also a top official of the political party Serb List. Radiocic was hit with sanctions by the United States and Britain in 2021 for allegedly being part of an organized crime group in the Balkans.
In the September 24 attack, around 30 people dressed in military-like uniforms stormed the Serbian Orthodox complex in Banjska, sparking a gunbattle with Kosovar police. Three attackers were killed, along with a Kosovar police officer. Kosovo observed a day of mourning for the slain officer on Monday while President Vjosa Osmani declared him a National Hero.
A total of eight people have been arrested so far, according to Veton Elshani, a top regional police official, and access to the village remains blocked. “The police still haven’t finished their work. They don’t know when it will happen, maybe today during the day,” he told RFE/RL.
Among those arrested, four had radio communications equipment, police said, and a “significant amount” of weapons, ammunition, and other equipment was also found. Serb List, the main political party representing Serbs in Kosovo, on September 27 declared a three-day mourning period to mark the “killing of our fellow citizens in the tragic events in the Banjska village.”
At least six of the suspected attackers who escaped are now in Serbia receiving treatment at a hospital there, Defense Minister Svecla told reporters, and he demanded Serbia hand them over to Kosovar authorities. /argumentum.al