North Kosovo: Shots fired near NATO patrol amid tensions
December 26, 2022
NATO said there were no injuries and they were working to establish the facts surrounding the incident. Northern Kosovo has seen weeks of mounting ethnic tensions between local ethnic Serbs and Kosovar authorities.
NATO is investigating a shooting incident that took place in northern Kosovo over the weekend, NATO-led peacekeeping Kosovo Force (KFOR) said on Monday.
KFOR said there were no injuries after gunshots were fired Sunday near patrolling NATO troops. The Latvian Ministry of Defense confirmed Monday that its forces attached to the KFOR mission were involved in the incident.
There was also no material damage reported in the incident that took place in Zubin Potok area, which is close to the border with Serbia.
"As meetings between all the parties are planned, it is important for all involved to avoid any rhetoric or actions that can cause tensions and escalate the situation," KFOR added.
The commander of the peacekeeping forces in Kosovo also met with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti to discuss the situation.
NATO's mission in Kosovo confirmed that shots were fired in the area of Zubin Potok on Sunday.
KFOR said in a statement that the NATO patrol vehicle was undamaged and there were no injuries.
Further details on the shooting were unclear. NATO did not comment on where the shots came from. NATO has bolstered its presence in northern Kosovo to maintain the fragile peace, with over 3,700 troops in the country.
Earlier on Sunday, some Serbian media reported that "fighting" had broken out after Kosovar authorities attempted to dismantle a barricade erected by local Serbs.
Kosovo's police denied the account in a statement on their Facebook page, saying that their officers had not been involved in clashes.
As a result, Pristina called for local elections to take place on December 18 which the main Serb political party said it would boycott. Ethnic Serbs then began setting up roadblocks on the main border crossings with Serbia.