The Ministry of the Interior’s (MoI) action came to an end today. During the skirmishes this morning (May 10) two more security forces members were killed, increasing the death toll to eight. According to MoI, fourteen members of the armed group have been killed and there are no civilian casualties. MoI’s spokesperson stated that this was one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the Balkans.
The public since the beginning of operations has had limited access to information and many questions both for the current situation and for the operation itself remain unanswered.
After almost 36 hours of silence, Prime Minister Gruevski held a press conference, stating that this is not a conflict between Macedonians and Albanians and emphasizing the multiethnic composition of security forces. Gruevski also highlighted the complexity of the situation, stating that the group had been planning mass killings in Macedonia as well as its destabilization. Yet, he added that the goals and motives of this group would be subject to further investigation. PM Gruevski called on political opponents not to use the situation for short-term political goals, at the same time warning the opponents that ‘they would face the same destiny as the terrorists’.
Most Albanian political factors in the country have appealed to the public to remain calm and not to succumb to provocation.
— Andreja Bogdanovski (@BogdanovskiA) May 9, 2015
A Macedonian Security Council meeting has been scheduled for 5 pm.
Meanwhile the Skopje Marathon that was due to begin today has been cancelled as a result of the security situation. In spite of the cancellation the participants organised themselves and ran, carrying a message of love and expressing condolences by observing a moment of silence.
Due to the situation and the national two-day mourning for the killed citizens have been called to join a peaceful gathering of solidarity at 6 pm in the Skopje City Park. The gathering’s aim is to demonstrate solidarity with the families of those who were killed and injured and with the citizens of Kumanovo, but also determination in the fight for peace and justice for all citizens, including those who were put in custody during previous protests. The gathering will also serve as a platform for discussing future steps of the self-organised civil movement.