New KFOR action at Jarinje
27. September 2011. | 11:21 16:47
The KFOR units have early Tuesday launched an action aimed at removing roadblocks from the Jarinje administrative crossing, during which they detained several persons.Local Serbs and KFOR members clashed once again at the alternative road near the administrative crossing of Jarinje around 1 p.m. today. Eleven people were injured in the incident at the Jarinje checkpoint.
The KFOR units have early Tuesday launched an action aimed at removing roadblocks from the Jarinje administrative crossing, during which they detained several persons.
This time, KFOR troops started removing obstacles made of ground and gravel on the road leading around their base in the vicinity of the Jarinje administrative checkpoint, on the alternative road.
During this action, KFOR detained 5 people, who were on watch in front of the barricade at Jarinje.
Since this morning, KFOR is also arresting all the people who are using the alternative road around Jarinje. Around 7 a.m. Tuesday, German troops detained two persons who tried to use this route from the direction of Raska.
Head of the civil protection in Leposavic Radomir Bogdanovic was also arrested and is still in the KFOR base, while others were released.
On Monday evening, KFOR carried out an action to remove the main barricade made of gravel, on the road which connects the Jarinje administrative crossing with their base nearby, but local Serbs set up a new barricade at almost the same spot, thus again blocking a road to Jarinje.
The KFOR action conducted on Monday evening at the Jarinje administrative crossing represents a provocation ahead of the new round of talks between Belgrade and Pristina, Head of the Leposavic municipality Branko Ninic told Tanjug.
The checkpoint, which the KFOR set up Monday on the major road Kosovska Mitrovica -Raska a little before the turn to its Notting Hill base, is still standing.
KFOR's removing of the barricade put up on the alternative road near the Jarinje administrative crossing infringes human rights of the people in north Kosovo, Leposavic Municipal President Branko Ninic stated for Tanjug on Tuesday.
At the moment the situation is peaceful with about 50 locals behind the barricades on the road towards the Jarinje checkpoint, while KFOR's removal of the barricade near its base on the alternative road is underway.
The blockage of the alternative routes has completely cut off communication between Leska and Leposavic and inhabitants of the nearby villages, Ninic said.
He confirmed that KFOR soldiers are arresting all people trying to use the alternative routes.
“The locals and education workers who are commuting from Raska to north Kosovo have been taken to custody. This is a total occupation of the locals in the nearby villages who cannot communicate with Leska and Leposavic,” Ninic said.
He added that he tried to talk to KFOR soldiers, but that they attempted to arrest him as well.
One young man was transferred to the hospital in Raska for injuries he suffered from teargas which KFOR threw on Tuesday morning.
Citizens throw stones, KFOR uses tear gas again
An incident happened around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday on the alternative road near the Jarinje administrative crossing when citizens started throwing stones at KFOR troops, who responded with tear gas.
The clash was over soon after head of the Leposavic municipality Branko Ninic called on all citizens to remain calm and defend their legitimate demands by peaceful means.
KFOR closed that alternative road early Tuesday. During the action, KFOR also fired tear gas and detained all who attempted to use the road.
Around 10 a.m., KFOR completed its action aimed at closing the alternative road and removing barricades near its base.
During this action, KFOR detained and then released 5 people who were on watch in front of the Jarinje barricades.
Since this morning, KFOR is also arresting all people who try to use the alternative road around Jarinje.
Crowd of protesters at Jarinje checkpoint
Several hundred residents of Leposavic and the surrounding area have staged a peaceful protest at the Jarinje administrative crossing, which is the only link between Leposavic and Lesak on one side and central Serbia on the other.
Head of the Leposavic municipality Branko Ninic addressed the crowd, condemning the KFOR operation during the night between Monday and Tuesday.
"We wish to tell Pristina, KFOR and the EU that we are no longer interested in customs and taxes, we are interested in freedom and peace. We are serious and civilized people," Ninic stated, calling on Serbs to resist peacefully.
The Serbs in northern Kosovo will try to employ civil disobedience to prevent EULEX and KFOR from separating them from Serbia.
"They have blocked a road that we built ourselves. This road is a necessary evil to let us leave the ghetto KFOR and EULEX put us in," he underscored.
The people in northern Kosovo have to have a road connecting them to central Serbia, Ninic noted.
KFOR has used tear gas on the protesters several times. The protest started at 11 a.m.. According to a Tanjug reporter, helicopters have constantly been landing at the nearby KFOR base.
EULEX: All barricades should be removed
The Tuesday morning removal of barricades at the Jarinje administrative crossing is a joint action of KFOR and EULEX, EULEX spokesperson Irina Gudeljevic told Tanjug, stressing that all barricades in the north should be removed.
The barricades are harmful for the citizens, and they should be removed in order to ease the flow of goods and enable freedom of movement, and any attempt which prevents that is actually an act against citizens, she underlined.
Gudeljevic underlined that EULEX is following the situation and that all options are open, underlining that all barricades should be immediately removed.
According to her, EULEX supports KFOR action and believes that the barricades must be removed.
The EULEX customs officers are present at both administrative checkpoints - Brnjak and Jarinje, Gudeljevic recalled.
These crossings, as she put it, are technically ready for operation, but their opening is prevented by the barricades put up at near-by roads.
The Kosovo police and customs officers are present at both checkpoints, while EULEX customs and police realize operative tasks at Jarnje and Brnjak which is in keeping with the mission's mandate, she said.
New incidents near Jarinje
Local Serbs and KFOR members clashed once again at the alternative road near the administrative crossing of Jarinje around 1 p.m. today.
After a truck arrived in front of the barbed wire which KFOR soldiers had put up to block the alternative route towards central Serbia, the local Serbs began throwing stones in the direction of KFOR, which responded with a huge air of tear gas and rubber bullets, Tanjug's on-site reporter said.
The gathered Serbs fled from the site, and one of them fired a bullet into the air.
Three ambulance vehicles with their sirens on drove off in the direction of Lesak.
Rubber bullets damaged Tanjug's car.
Seven persons hospitalized in Mitrovica, blood donors needed
Director of the Kosovska Mitrovica Hospital Milan Jakovljevic stated that seven persons injured at Jarinje administrative crossing on Tuesday morning were admitted in the Mitrovica hospital by 2 p.m., adding that the hospital stuff is urging people to donate blood.
According to Jakovljevic, six persons were admitted in the surgical ward with bullet wounds, while one person was hospitalized at the ophthalmology due to teargas injuries.
Jakovljevic told journalists that an ambulance was also shot at, but that luckily no one was hurt.
According to the doctors, none of the patients is in jeopardy of life, Jakovljevic noted.
KFOR: We fired rubber bullets in self-defense
KFOR deputy spokesperson Kai Gudenoge stated Tuesday that KFOR soldiers were forced to fire rubber bullets in self-defense at the Serbs gathered on the road to the Jarinje administrative crossing in northern Kosovo.
The Serbs were stoning the German soldiers, one of whom was hit, so the soldiers were forced to fire rubber bullets in self-defense, the KFOR official stated for AFP in Pristina.
Gudenoge stressed that the situation is now absolutely peaceful, noting, however, that this can change at any moment.
Six citizens were brought to the Kosovska Mitrovica Health Center, who were injured when KFOR members fired rubber bullets at the Serbs gathered in a peaceful protest near the Jarinje crossing.
The injured persons have been hospitalized, and the details about their injuries have not yet been disclosed.
Four KFOR soldiers injured
Tanjug has learned at the KFOR headquarters that four of their soldiers were injured in the incident at the Jarinje checkpoint on Tuesday.
Three of the soldiers sustained light injuries, while one received serious injuries.
The soldiers were injured in an explosion caused by an improvised device, KFOR stated.