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EU police officer shot dead in volatile northern Kosovo - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Vehicle handover to KP Mitrovica, September 16 2013. (EULEX press office)

Vehicle handover to KP Mitrovica, September 16 2013. (EULEX press office)

Pristina, Reuters—A European Union police officer in Kosovo was shot dead on Thursday in a northern, mainly Serb, region where tensions are rising over a fragile accord between the Balkan country and its former master Serbia.

It appeared to mark the first fatality suffered by the EU mission, known as EULEX, since it deployed in 2008 after majority-Albanian Kosovo declared independence from Serbia with the backing of the West.

The officer, whom EULEX did not identify, was killed when two EU vehicles “came under fire from unknown persons” at around 7.30 am near Zvečan, a town in Kosovo’s predominantly Serb north abutting Serbia, EULEX said in a statement.

The vehicles were part of a regular morning rotation from a border crossing between Kosovo and Serbia, one of two main border gates in the north that have been the focus of previous clashes between ethnic Serbs and NATO peacekeepers.

Serbs in northern Kosovo vehemently reject the 2008 secession from Serbia and are growing nervous over an April accord brokered by the EU to integrate the enclave with the rest of Kosovo.

Under the accord, Serbia agreed to cede its de facto hold over the north in exchange for the promise of accession talks with the European Union, which are expected to begin in January. The northern municipalities are due to take part in local elections in Kosovo in November.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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