Gun battle between police and militants leaves 22 dead in Macedonia

At least 22 people are dead and dozens injured after police in Macedonia conducted a raid on Saturday against a “terrorist group” made up of ethnic Albanians in the northern town of Kumanovo.

Police clashes with armed group leave 22 dead in Macedonia http://t.co/2vdKw1D5mC pic.twitter.com/weEC6YYtih
— FRANCE 24 English (@France24_en) May 11, 2015

The Albanian paramilitary group the National Liberation Army said that its militants were targeted in the operation, and that they are participating in the “ongoing fight for freedom and national [Albanian] dignity.” Macedonian authorities say the cell had at least 44 members, and that 14 militants and eight police officers were killed during a gun battle. “One of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the Balkans has been neutralized,” Interior MInistry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said during a news conference.
Police reportedly captured weapons, ammunition, and several dozen militants during the raid. Many of the militants apparently came over from Kosovo within the last week. Ethnic Albanians are a minority in Macedonia, and they often complain of discrimination, the Los Angeles Times reports. Macedonia, Serbia, and Kosovo were all once part of Yugoslavia, and the incident is raising concerns that once again there will be ethnic violence in the region. Catherine Garcia

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