Macedonia Police in Deadly Clash With Armed Group

Macedonia Police in Deadly Clash With Armed GroupMacedonia Police in Deadly Clash With Armed Group

At least five police officers were killed and 30 injured in clashes with unidentified gunmen believed to have crossed into the Albanian-majority area of a northern Macedonian town from Kosovo. Gunfire and explosions lasted for over 15 hours.

It is still unknown if there were any civilian casualties or how many of the gunmen were killed during the operation. However, the police said “There are victims among the gunmen,” without giving details, RT reported.

Local Albanian media reported that five armed men were killed during the clashes. Around 30 of the militants surrendered, while another 15 gunmen were reportedly able to escape.

Police revealed that the armed group illegally entered Macedonia from a neighboring state, without providing any more details. Local media suggest that the group came from Kosovo, which is populated mostly by ethnic Albanians.

The violence was triggered during a police raid in the area. Officers faced “violent resistance” from snipers, grenades and automatic weapons, according to police.

“This is a risky operation because it is an area with narrow streets and police need to perform house-to-house searches very carefully,” a police spokesperson said.

Armored vehicles reportedly sealed off one of the town’s suburbs and helicopters were heard whirring overhead. The gunmen were planning to carry out attacks on state institutions, according to the police.