Kosovo, Serbia, Trade Conflicting Accounts Over ‘Kidnapped’ Police Officers

Kosovo and Serbian institutions on Wednesday said Serbian police had arrested three Kosovo police officials in an action that Kosovo authorities called "kidnapping".

Both countries gave contradictory claims regarding the location of the arrest.

The Director of Serbia's Office for Kosovo, Petar Petkovic, said the officers were arrested in Serbian territory near the border with Kosovo, but Kosovo's government claims they were arrested inside Kosovo, close to the border with Serbia. 

A clear border line between Kosovo and Serbia was never determined by a demarcation agreement because Serbia does not recognise Kosovo's independence and considers the border an "administrative line" and not an international border.

Petkovic said that three of Kosovo PM Albin "Kurti's Special police members" were arrested in the village of Gnjilica, in Raska municipality, "deep in the territory of central Serbia". 

"Members of our police did not set foot on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija", Petkovic told the media, claiming that Serbia is ready to "offer all evidence" for this. 

Serbian authorities claim the three policeman were heavily armed.

But Kurti said that "three Kosovo police officials have been kidnapped today in Leposavic in the place where there used to be an illegal smuggling route, which is located 300 meters within the territory of our state". 

"We suspect that they were kidnapped by the Serbian army, clearly as revenge by Serbia for yesterday's arrest of the notorious criminal Milun 'Lune' Milenkovic, who represents one of the leaders of organized crime and smuggling," Kurti wrote on Facebook.

"We request the immediate release of three kidnapped police officers and call on international factors to condemn...

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