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News 20 Sep 13

Hunt Ongoing in Kosovo for EULEX Officer's Killers

A day after the slaying of an EU customs officer in the northern, Serb-run part of Kosovo, the hunt for the killers is ongoing.

BIRN Pristina

Salvatore Farina, commander of the NATO-led Kosovo Force, KFOR, said the hunt for the killers of a Lithuanian EULEX officer on Thursday was ongoing.

“The main effort is already in the north; the outreach is in the north. We will be very vigilant, impartial, prudent but determined,” Farina said.

The EULEX customs officer was shot dead in Zvecan on Thursday when two vehicles carrying six officers were showered with gunfire.

Authorities in Pristina, Belgrade and Brussels have condemned the attack, calling for perpetrators to be brought to justice.

The killing occurred as Kosovo heads into local elections that are being organised throughout the country on November 3.

The polls are the first ever organized by the Kosovo authorities that will also be held in the Serb-run north.

The decision to hold the elections follows the conclusion on April 19 of an important agreement between the governments of Pristina and Belgrade on "normalizing" relations. [Serbia does not recognise the independence of Kosovo, proclaimed in 2008.]

Hajredin Kuci, Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice, said the slaying “confirmed the need to remove [Serbian-run] parallel structures [in the north], and for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

“There must be no let-up in the implementation of the [April 19] agreement," he added.

According to Lithuanian media, the victim of the fatal shooting was 35-year-old Audrius Senavicius Klaipeda, who had served in the EU rule-of-law mission in Kosovo since August 2012.

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