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News 04 May 12

Macedonia Seeks Murder Suspects Through Interpol

Interpol's help is needed to track down two of the five suspects for the killings near Skopje, police say.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
BIRN
Skopje

Police Minister Gordana Jankulovska | Photo by: AP/Boris Grdanoski

Macedonian police have asked Interpol to step in after two of the five suspects it believes killed five persons near Skopje fled the country.

Police arrested three of the men in raids this week, namely Agim Ismailovic, 32 Fejzi Azirij, 54, and Rami Sejdiu 24.

But Interpol's help may be needed to track down Alil Demiri, 27, and Afrim Ismailovic, 33, both from Skopje.All five are ethnic Albanians.

The earlier three were arrested in Tuesday’s police operations around the capital and now face murder and terrorism charges.

An investigative judge in Skopje has meanwhile detained for 30 days nine of a group of 20 alleged radical Islamists, all ethnic Albanians, whom police arrested on Tuesday in relation to the murders.

A woman in whose house the police found an arsenal of weapons was released the same day while the court released the other ten arrested men after 48 hours.

The brutal slaying of five men near the capital on April 12 raised ethnic tensions between Macedonians and the large Albanian minority after rumours spread that the killers were Albanians.

Police discovered the bodies of Filip Slavkovski, Aleksandar Nakjevski, Cvetanco Acevski and Kire Trickovski, on the northern outskirts of the capital at a popular fishing destination.All the victims were aged between 18 and 20.

The body of 45-year-old Borce Stevkovski was a short distance away from the rest.

On Thursday police minister Gordana Jankulovska said that they had determined all the circumstances about the murders but would wait for the trial before revealing details.

Police photo of the two murder suspects who are still at large


Jankulovska admitted that the police were still trying to identify the murder weapons among the stash it seized in this week’s arrests.

She again said that the killings were carried out by “followers of radical Islam” who chose the day of the crime to coincide with the preparations for Orthodox Christian Easter.


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