Kosovo dispatch: terror attack on village near Serbian border leaves three gunmen and one policemen dead

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Ernesa is a JURIST Kosovo staff correspondent and recent law graduate from the University of Pristina Faculty of Law. She sends this dispatch out of Pristina. The peaceful village of Banjska, near the Serbian border, was the target of a terrorist attack in the early morning hours of September 24, 2023. One Kosovo Police officer died, another suffered severe injuries, and a third sustained relatively minor injuries. The attacks were the first attacks in the area in several months.

Around 03:00, the police arrived in Banjska where a blockade of the road by two trucks had been reported. The police were attacked by a group of 30 terrorists who fled to the Banjska Monastery in Zvecan, where they sought refuge while continuing their attacks on the police. Albin Kurti, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, said in a media statement that this was a “professional terrorist formation” that planned the attack. The Prime Minister of Kosovo Albin Kurti also said that this was a mercenary group that is funded by Belgrade. Meanwhile the police are investigating the escape of the rest of the terrorists in case they infiltrated the pilgrims in the monastery.

After the Kosovo police surrounded the monastery, Minister of Internal Affairs Xhelal Svecla said that the police had discovered an extraordinary amount of heavy explosive infantry weapons, logistics, food and equipment for barricades, enough for several hundred other attackers.

President Vjosa Osmani has declared Monday a day of state mourning in honor of policeman Afrim Bunjaku, who was killed in the attack today in the early hours of the morning.

Kosovo is left in shock by these terrifying events. Citizens, government officials and international actors are demanding justice and an investigation into this horrific act. As the nation grieves the loss of one of its protectors, Kosovo remains resolute in its commitment to maintaining peace and security within its borders.

Opinions expressed in JURIST Dispatches are solely those of our correspondents in the field and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST’s editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.