23 March 2007

Serb houses searched in Babin Most after killing of KPS policeman

Radio KIM, Caglavica, January 3, 2006


Policeman Avni Kosumi was killed this morning at about 1:30 a.m. on the road from Pristina to Kosovska Mitrovica between the villages of Babin Most and Stanovce, KPS regional spokesman in Pristina Veton Elshani confirmed.


"Kosumi (41) was hit by a bullet shot at a civilian vehicle while it was in motion. The wounded policeman was transferred to hospital in Vucitrn, where his death was established," said Elshani. Riding in the vehicle targeted were the driver and three Kosovo police officials. The policemen were on their way to Vucitrn coming back from work.


Unlike this morning when Babin Most representative Momir Ristic said that the KPS had not blocked off the village in a statement for KIM Radio, by this afternoon he said that several tens of members of the KPS and UNMIK police occuppied the part of the village next to the highway this morning. According to Ristic police forced their way into several Serb houses and carried out a detailed search of the buildings and members of the households.


During the search three Serbs were arrested: Vukasin Simic, who was released after questioning in the police station in Obilic, Stojan Danic and Radovan Vuckovic. According to Ristic, Danic and Vuckovic are still in custody, and a hunting rifle was found in the possession of the latter. "The hunting rifle they found has a proper license. They found no other weapons. Now they can plant whatever they like," said Ristic.


KPS regional spokesman in Pristina Veton Elshani confirmed that this morning from 7:30 to 11:00 a.m. police blocked the part of the highway where KPS policeman Avni Kosumi was killed and carried out a search of 11 Serb houses. "At the scene of the murder the police carried out an operation and on that occasion found two rifles, an M-41 and a hunting rifle."


The police break in into the village has caused great unrest among local residents but Ristic says that pressure such as this cannot influence the remaining Serb population to leave the village. "The local residents of Babin Most will remain to the end. We are not afraid because they arrested our people and because they mistreated us. We will stay where we are," Ristic said.