A new incident in Kosovo threatens to escalate the conflict between the ethnic groups: two citizens of the Serb minority are shot - the suspect is a Kosovar. One of the victims is only eleven years old.
Two Serb residents of Kosovo were shot and wounded, including an 11-year-old boy. The incident sparked fears that ethnic conflicts would flare up again. According to the authorities, a Kosovan elite police officer was arrested on suspicion of a crime. Other reports spoke of a soldier off duty.
According to the Serbian government, the two cousins carried an oak trunk, which is traditionally felled by Serbian Orthodox Christians for the Orthodox Christmas celebration on January 7th. The Serbian government spoke of an "assassination attempt". Shortly after the attack, Serbs blocked a road in the area to demand the suspect's arrest. Kosovan Prime Minister Albin Kurti condemned the attack.
A crisis between the communities and between Serbia and Kosovo was resolved just a week ago after the arrest of a Serbian police officer. Around 100,000 Serbs live in mostly Albanian Kosovo, half of them in the north.
Most of these approximately 50,000 Serbs have refused to recognize the government in Pristina and Kosovo as a state for years. Serbia also does not recognize the independence of the region and describes Kosovo as an autonomous province of Serbia. The conflict has been smoldering for more than 20 years. In 2008, with Western support, Kosovo declared its independence. This was preceded by a war in 1998 and 1999, in which NATO intervened to protect the ethnic Albanian population.