Monday, June 02, 2008

Albanians Vote with Bullets in Macedonia Elections --One Dead, Eight Injured

SKOPJE -- An ethnic Albanian is dead after a shootout with police at a polling station in Macedonia, it has been confirmed.

Signs :"No Guns" and "No violence" are taped on voting booths

The man, identified as Naser Aivazi, 40, opened fire at police officers this morning in the village of Aracinovo near Skopje, Macedonia's MUP says. Naivazi is said to have been a Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) supporter.

At least five others were injured during the incident, none of them police officers, spokesman Ivo Kotevski told a news conference in the Macedonian capital today. A total of eight wounded and nine detained has also been reported.

The shootout was only one of a series of incidents that took place this morning as polls opened in the early parliamentary elections, including the wounding of a man at a polling station in Skopje, when firearms were also used.

Earlier, Macedonian police said the deadly exchage of fire took place as ethnic Albanians confronted a special police unit, after an Albanian attempted to vote on behalf of several other persons.

When the officials organizing the ballot explained this was not possible, he produced a pistol, and was joined by several other armed men.

"When police intervened, the group left the polling station, to start shooting at officers, and this is when one person was injured, and taken to hospital," police spokesman Ivo Kotevski told Beta news agency this morning.

Voting was interrupted in several other places because armed men appeared there as well, breaking up ballot boxes and stealing the material necessary to organize elections.

Some polls remained closed all morning, the agency said.

Away from the voting booths, police found cars packed with weapons near KruĊĦino itself, and near the village of Aracinovo.

State election committee chief Zoran Tanevski confirmed that most of the incidents this morning happened in the Albanian-inhabited areas.

In the village of Malino, near Kosovo, a ballot box was stolen, while in another one near Tetovo, an armed group entered the polling stations after which the voting was suspended.

In the Gostivar area of Cifik, unknown perpetrators tried to fill the boxes with the ballot papers, Tanevski said.

Meanwhile, two rival ethnic Albanian parties, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) and the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) traded accusations over the attacks and incidents.

It is in this atmosphere that 1,779,116 Macedonian voters can cast their ballots today, choosing between 18 parliamentary tickets competing for the nation's parliament, or Sobranie, and the 120 seats there.

Polling stations close at 19:00 CET, with voting monitored by some 2,000 local and more than 460 foreign observers.


Ian K. said...

I am convinced beyond any doubt that Albanians are totally lawless and worthless, and they think they can have two countries? As long as I breathe I will help make sure these "people" do not wreck the lives of any more Serbs, Macedonians, Greeks, et cetera. The U.S. recognizes these hooligans? Really shows the true color of who is in our government right now! said...

Problem is Ian, that we (the US) didn't support the peaceful Albanians who just wanted a decent life, we supported the lawless psychopaths with guns and "demands for more territory".

There is no political sanity to the West's support of an independent Kosovo, but I suspect there is a lot of money involved!

Nino said...

Well, this only show's the right side of the Albanian minority.

And still people want to see them having thire own country, thire own kosovo. Next up for grabs is Macedonia. I'm so sure about it, that i would blow my head of if it would not happen.

Anyway, Serbblog, thank you for your really wonderful blog, i really like it a lot and it is very good reading. Please keep on giving us more of your thoughts and news that you give us! Its great!

From a Serbian friend in Sweden!