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Armed Men With UCK Insignia Seize Macedonian Border Post Near Kosovo

  • RFE/RL's Balkan Service

Around 40 armed men wearing the insignia of a disbanded ethnic Albanian paramilitary group, the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK), have attacked a border post in northern Macedonia, detaining four Macedonian border officials for about an hour before releasing them.

Macedonian Interior Ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski told reporters that the armed men early on April 21 also seized weapons and mobile phones from the border police at the village of Goshnice, in the Lipkovo municipality, near the border with Kosovo.

The attackers later left the border post.

Kotevski called the incident "a terrorist attack," but said he could not confirm whether the armed men came from Kosovo or Macedonia.

He said the attackers demanded their own state and said they did not recognize the Ohrid agreement, the 2001 peace accord that brought an end to a short conflict between government forces and ethnic Albanian rebels in Macedonia.

Before being disbanded in 1999, the UCK sought Kosovo's independence from Yugoslavia in a campaign that precipated Belgrade's military crackdown against Kosovo's ethnic Albanians and the Kosovo War of 1998-99.