Accessibility links

Breaking News

NATO: Video Shows Kosovar Serbs As Leaders Of Attacks

Zvonko Veselinovic
Zvonko Veselinovic
PRISTINA -- The commander of NATO troops in Kosovo has identified an ethnic Serb businessman and his brother as the leaders of recent attacks on international forces in northern Kosovo, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

NATO-led peacekeepers clashed with angry ethnic Serbs in northern Kosovo at the end of November as Kosovo Force (KFOR) troops began dismantling barricades erected by the Serbs near a disputed border crossing with Serbia.

Dozens of KFOR soldiers were injured during the dismantling efforts, some of them by bullets fired by the Serbs.

NATO General Erhard Drews of Germany said KFOR has video of the Serbian businessman, Zvonko Veselinovic, and his brother, and has given it to EULEX, the EU mission on rule of law in Kosovo, for further investigation. He said EULEX is cooperating with the authorities in Serbia on the issue.

In a meeting with a group of journalists from Serbia on December 12, Drews added that Veselinovic was unfortunate as he was wounded in the neck by a rubber bullet and is currently "out of the game."

He was last seen in public in northern Kosovo on December 11.

Little is known about Veselinovic, who has described himself as a construction company owner. Some reports claim he is involved in controversial business dealings.

Veselinovic's name initially came up when Kosovar Serbs in the north reacted violently to the Kosovo government's efforts to seize control of the border with Serbia on July 25.

EULEX declined to provide any information on the ongoing investigation.

Serbian Interior Minister Ivica Dacic denied that EULEX is cooperating with law-enforcement authorities in Belgrade on this case involving problems along the Kosovar-Serbian border.

"This is a lie," he said. "The center of the crime is in Pristina and Albania. The Albanian mafia is the most powerful in the world and these are not my claims, but those of Russian, German, and American secret services..."

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008 and has been recognized by 85 countries. Belgrade considers Kosovo to be a UN-administered territory of Serbia.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

If you are in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine and hold a Russian passport or are a stateless person residing permanently in Russia or the Russia-controlled parts of Ukraine, please note that you could face fines or imprisonment for sharing, liking, commenting on, or saving our content, or for contacting us.

To find out more, click here.