Communique: Four armed Islamists arrested yesterday evening in front of the main gate of Visoki Dečani Monastery
FOUR ARMED ISLAMISTS ARRESTED YESTERDAY IN FRONT OF THE MAIN GATE OF VISOKI DEČANI SERBIAN ORTHODOX MONASTERY, KOSOVO
Diocese of Raška and Prizren, Serbian Orthodox Church
Prizren-Gračanica, 31 January 2016
Yesterday evening (30 January) around 21.00 hrs a group of four armed Islamists were arrested in front of Visoki Dečani Serbian Orthodox Monastery in Kosovo. The arrested stopped in front of the monastery main gate in a white Golf vehicle with Uroševac (Ferizaj) registration plates (05). In a joint action of Kosovo police and Italian KFOR after the checkup of the documents and the vehicle it was found out that the arrested (four Kosovo Albanian males from different parts of Kosovo: Gnjilane (Gjilan), Uroševac (Ferizaj), Prizren and Djakovica (Gjakova) had weapons (a kalashnikov AK47 with 20 rounds of ammunition and a pistol with 16 rounds of ammunition). Inside the vehicle also the Islamist literature was found. Two of the arrested were bearded with shaven head and trousers above ankles, which is charasteristic for Wahabbists. The investigation is ongoing.
The Abbot of Visoki Dečani Monastery Fr. Sava Janjić confirmed that the monks and the personell employed at the monastery feel safe and that this incident is one more indication that the presece of KFOR which has been protecting the monastery for the last 16 years of essential importance for the security of this religous site that belongs to the World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
In October 2014 on two monastery gates and outward monastery facilities graffiti of ISIS and AKSH (Albanian National Army) were written and just 4 months before that the graffiti of KLA (UCK – Kosovo Liberation Army). Police investigation of these incidents has not given any results so far but the presence of KFOR since than has been robustly increased as the area is considered a zone of high security risk.
Visoki Dečani Monastery has suffered four armed attacks since the end of the war. Only one attack has been investigated by police and one Kosovo Albanian in 2007 was sentenced on 2.5 years for the attack on the monastery.