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News 29 Oct 14

‘Projectiles’ Hit HQ of Macedonian Government

Two projectiles, most probably grenades, hit the roof and walls of the government building in Skopje at around 10pm on Tuesday night, the police said.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic

Macedonian government building | Photo by: Zoran Ricliev

Unknown assailants fired two projectiles at the building of the Macedonian government on Tuesday night, police said.

One exploded on the roof while the other exploded on one of the exterior walls, the police said. Nobody was hurt in the blasts that took place around 10pm.

“We are still conducting a forensic examination of the parts found at the spot, but most probably we are talking about grenades,” police spokesperson Ivo Kotevski told BIRN.

"The projectiles are of a larger caliber," the spokesperson added.

The two explosions disturbed locals living in the vicinity of the government building. Media published pictures of what seems to be substantial holes in the external wall of the government headquarters.

The police did not say who the attackers might have been.

However, suspicion will likely fall on members of the country's large and disaffected Albanian community. A number of Albanian Muslims have joined radical Islamic groups fighting in Syria and Iraq lately. Relations between the Macedonian majority and the Albanian minority have traditionally been fragile.

In July, several thousand Albanian protesters clashed with police in Skopje after courts jailed ethnic Albanian for the murders of ethnic Macedonians in 2012.

There are some claims that the projectiles were fired from a nearby hill located opposite the government HQ on the other side of the Vardar river.

The attack resembles another in 2007 when two grenades ended up in the vicinity of the government building, nearly missing the HQ.

The then government spokesperson Ivica Bocevski qualified the attack as "a terroris attack" but the case remains unsolved to this day.

The government building is currently undergoing a makeover as part of the state-sponsored revamp of the Macedonian capital known as Skopje 2014.

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