About 40 heavily armed men in fatigues bearing the insignia of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army disarmed and tied up four policeman at a northern Macedonian border checkpoint in a pre-dawn raid, the government in Skopje said.
“The Republic of Macedonia was a target of a terrorist attack,” police spokesman Ivo Kotevski said by phone from the capital. The assailants, speaking Albanian through an interpreter, told the officers “we want to have our state” and threatened to kill Macedonian police if they tried to return to the frontier post, Kotevski said.
The former Yugoslav republic and European Union candidate defused an ethnic-Albanian insurgency in 2001 with a US-mediated peace accord that gave the minority broader rights. The community, a quarter of Macedonia’s 2 million people, lives mostly near the border with Kosovo, a former province in Serbia where ethnic-Albanians declared independence in 2008.
The attackers told the officers they rejected the 2001 peace agreement and left the scene a few hours later after seizing weapons from the police, Kotevski said.