Terrorists 'mobilizing' over Serb 'threat'

Jan. 15, 2013 at 10:24 AM

PRESEVO, Serbia, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- An Albanian terrorist group from Kosovo says it has begun mobilizing its members because of Serbian threats to tear down a memorial to Albanian war dead.

In a statement, the Albanian National Army said it was taking the action because of Serbian threats to separate a part of Kosovo and to "remove by force the monument in Presevo," the Serbian newspaper Danas reported.

The memorial, in the largely ethnic Albanian town in southern Serbia, honors members of a so-called liberation army who clashed with Serbian forces in 2000 and 2001.

The statement accused Serbian leadership of being fascists and charged they were responsible for the "aggravated situation" in northern Kosovo and southern Serbia.

ANA is an offshoot of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which disbanded after the 1999 war over Kosovo. The ANA was designated a terrorist organization by the United Nations in 2003 after its members unsuccessfully attempted to blow up a railroad line.

Addressing the memorial situation, Skedner Destnai, leader of the Albanian party the Democratic Union of the Valley, said his members were "ready for dialogue with all representatives of the Serbian government."

He predicted that a compromise solution would be reached before a new round of talks begins Thursday.

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