MCIC Situation report Macedonia no. 9/2001

06 August - 08 August 2001

Skopje, 8th of August 2001

Security situation

Worsened security situation with serious incidents.

Shoot-out in Tetovo. On August 6, according to police and army sources, the extremists from Neprosteno and Dzepciste attacked the Macedonian security forces points at the village of Ratae and the city stadium in Tetovo. The Albanian language media and the inhabitants of the villages of Poroj and Dzepciste, ethnic Albanians claimed that the security forces broke the cease-fire by a grenade attack on the villages of Neprosteno and Slatino from their positions in Zilce and Ratae.

Humanitarian convoy attacked. On August 7, MCIC organized humanitarian convoy with food supplies for the municipalities of Vratnica (inhabited by ethnic Macedonians) and Jazince (inhabited by ethnic Albanians), which were cut-off from Tetovo for almost a month. While returning from Vratnica, near the village of Odri, the convoy was attacked and one bullet ended in one of the trucks.

Five extremists killed in police action. On August 7, according to police reports, five extremists have been killed and five arrested in a police action in a house in the Skopje suburb of Gazi Baba. The dead were citizens of the Republic of Albania. The Albanian language newspaper Fakti claimed that the five ethnic Albanians were killed while asleep and did not resist the police action.

Army and police convoy attacked in ambush - ten dead. On August 8, at the village of Grupcin, near Skopje, the extremists attacked a convoy of vehicles of the Macedonian army and police. 10 members of the security forces were killed and 3 seriously wounded.
Shootings in Tetovo. On August 8, around 13 hours, shootings took place in the city of Tetovo. Unofficially, there are a large number of extremists spotted on the streets of Tetovo.

The security situation could worsen further more. This could stop the political dialogue in Ohrid that should finish by the end of the day, and the agreement should be signed on August 10 (Friday) in presence of the EU High Representative Javier Solana and NATO's Secretary General George Robertson.

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