Hovenier: An organized structure or entities were behind Banjska attack



Text sizeAa Aa

The United States Ambassador to Pristina, Jeffrey Hovenier, stated on Saturday that there appears to be an organized structure or entities behind the recent armed attack on Kosovo Police in the northern part of the country, which resulted in the death of a police officer.

When questioned by the BBC on Saturday about Serbia’s involvement in the attack, Hovenier indicated that the quantity and quality of weapons discovered in Banjska, Zvecan, suggest that the “ethnic Serbian assailants did not procure them independently”.

Hovenier further revealed that an individual who was the deputy leader of one of the Serbian parties in Kosovo, known for involvement in events with high-ranking Serbian officials, has claimed responsibility for organizing the attack through his lawyer and stated that he was present during the incident.

This individual is Milan Radojičić, the outgoing deputy leader of the Serb List, the largest party representing Serbs in Kosovo.

Initially, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić expressed gratitude to Radojičić for his role in “protecting Serbs in Kosovo”, but later announced that Radojičić would be questioned by the authorities.

On Friday, Radojičić publicly assumed responsibility for the attacks on Kosovo Police in Banjska, Zvecan, on September 24, and subsequently resigned from his position within the party.

Hovenier emphasized that investigations are ongoing to determine the precise individuals responsible for the attack. He expressed concern over the situation and called for a thorough inquiry.

The attack occurred on September 24 when Kosovo Police came under fire during a routine patrol while attempting to inspect a roadblock near a bridge in Banjska. Tragically, one police officer, Afrim Bunjaku, lost his life.

The attackers sought refuge in the village’s monastery, where they continued to engage with the police. The confrontation ultimately resulted in the deaths of three attackers. Three suspected assailants have been apprehended and are currently in pre-trial detention in Pristina.

In an interview with Radio Free Europe on September 29, Kosovo’s Interior Minister Xhelal Sveçla suggested that Radojičić did not act alone, contradicting previous claims. Sveçla alleged that Radojičić had support from Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić.

It’s important to note that Radojičić is on the U.S. sanctions list due to allegations of corruption and involvement in international criminal activities.