Category Archives: Macedonia

Riot police use tear gas on migrants at Greece-Macedonia border

greece migrant runs from tear gas

The escalation in tensions that have been simmering for weeks came after more than 500 people gathered at the fence at the sprawling camp of Idomeni, where more than 10,000 migrants and refugees have been stranded since February after a cascade of border shutdowns throughout the Balkans.



A second wall of razor wire to stem the human tide: Macedonia builds another fence on its border with Greece to ‘send a message to migrants to give up attempts to cross illegally’

Macedonia has begun building a new razor-wire fence parallel to an existing one on its border with Greece to make it harder for migrants to enter the Balkan country.

Since November only refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq have been allowed to cross the border on their journey to western Europe, but migrants from other countries have still tried to get across.

‘The idea is to send a message to migrants that there is a double fence so give up crossing illegally,’ a senior army official said.


Macedonian police arrest nine for involvement in Syria and Iraq

Macedonian police arrested nine people on Thursday believed to have fought alongside Islamist insurgents in Syria and Iraq and recruited others from the Balkan country, the interior minister said.

In a security sweep in four towns, the police forces searched 21 houses, an internet cafe and a mosque in the capital Skopje, Mitko Cavkov told reporters. An imam was among those arrested.

“According to our information he could be seen as the main ideological leader,” Cavkov said, adding that charges would be brought against a group of 36 who had violated Macedonian law by “fighting for another army or paramilitary organisation”.

Of the 36, 27 are believed to be out of the country, most of them still fighting in Syria and Iraq.


Gunfire, explosions in Macedonia as police battle ‘armed group’

KUMANOVO, Macedonia (Reuters) – Five police officers died and dozens were wounded in a daylong gun battle in an ethnic Albanian suburb of northern Macedonia on Saturday, adding the threat of armed conflict to a deep political crisis rocking the ex-Yugoslav republic.

The Balkan country’s interior ministry said an unspecified number of gunmen were also killed, but that it had no information on civilian casualties during clashes that began before dawn and stretched into the evening.

Police said that acting on information about an “armed group” they had launched an operation in an ethnic Albanian district of the northern town of Kumanovo 40 km (25 miles) north of the capital Skopje. The region saw heavy fighting during an ethnic Albanian insurgency in 2001.

Units of special police in armored vehicles locked down the neighborhood and helicopters circled overhead. A Reuters photographer reported hearing heavy automatic gunfire and loud explosions. Black smoke rose over the town and residents were seen leaving the area carrying belongings.


A blow to ‘World Bulletin’: Historic Macedonian mosque not to be reconstructed

In the Macedonian capital city of Skopje, a historic Ottoman mosque’s grounds are to be used buildeng a officers club.

Historically known as the Karlizade, the Burmali Mosque had been build in 1495 during the Ottoman era, and had stood at the site for 430 years.

It had been located on the right bank of the Vardar River next to the Stone Bridge in Skopje.

The Serbs demolished the mosque in 1925 to build a military officer’s club on the site.

The officer’s club was damaged and destroyed in the 1963 earthquake. The site has remained vacant since…

A volatile place, religious stats: Macedonian Orthodox 64.7%, Muslim 33.3%, other Christian 0.37%, other and unspecified 1.63% (2002 census)