A shooting incident near a NATO patrol in North Kosovo is currently being investigated, said the NATO-led peacekeeping Kosovo Force (KFOR) on Monday.
KFOR said there had been no injuries following gunfire near a NATO patrol on Sunday. Latvian Ministry of Defense forces attached to the KFOR mission were involved in the incident.
The incident took place in the Zubin Potok area, near the border with Serbia. NATO forces also confirmed there had been no material damage reported.
“As meetings between all the parties are planned, it is important for all involved to avoid any rhetoric or actions that can cause tensions and escalate the situation,” KFOR said.
The head of peacekeeping forces in Kosovo met with Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti to discuss the situation further.
The shooting incident takes place among heightened tensions between local Serbs and Kosovo authorities in the region. This latest round of conflict was sparked when Kosovo announced a ban on Serbian license plates.
Further details regarding the shooting over the weekend remain unclear. NATO made no comment on where the gunshots were fired from.
NATO has expanded its presence in northern Kosovo in recent months in an effort to maintain peace. There are currently more than 3,700 troops in the country.
Last week, the lawyer for former Kosovo Serb police officer Dejan Pantic said he still did not know the location of his client days after his arrest. Pantic was accused of carrying out an attack on municipal election commission offices in North Mitrovica; his arrest in early December led to road blockades by Kosovo Serbs.
On Sunday, Serbian media reported that “fighting” had broken out in the area after Kosovo authorities began dismantling a barricade erected by local Serbs. The barricades have so far halted traffic at two border crossings.
Kosovo’s police denied the account on their Facebook page, and said Kosovo police officers had not been involved in any such incidents.
On Sunday, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic dispatched the Serbian army chief to the border with Kosovo. General Milan Mojsilovic told the media that the ”complex” situation at the border “requires in the coming period the presence of the Serbian army.”
“The tasks the Serbian army has got…are precise, clear, and will be fully implemented,” he said.
In the wake of pressure from the US and the European Union, Kosovo President Vjosa Osmani has delayed local elections until 23 April. The license plate decision is also on hold.