June 29, 2013
Statement of the Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations.
According to PTC news agency, on June 28, 2013, a group of Albanian extremists committed an organized attack on a column of school buses taking Serbian children home from the celebrations on the occasion of the national holiday ‘Vidovdan’, the Day of the Kosovo Battle against the Ottoman Empire.
The helpless children were hit by a flow of stones. Three young pilgrims were seriously injured. The Kosovo police failed to apprehend the attackers.
We regret to state that similar incidents happen in Kosovo and Metohija almost annually. Thus, in 2012, over 50 young people, who came from Serbia for Vidovdan, were injured during an attack in which petrol bombs were used and some of them were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.
The extremists seek to mark Vidovdan with violence against Orthodox Serbs to intimidate and make them reject their own history linked with the Kosovo region. The attack against Serbian schoolchildren should be resolutely condemned by the international community.
This incident is evidence raising again the doubt that the Kosovo authorities are capable of overcoming ethnic tension and give real guarantees of safety to the Orthodox Serbian population of the region.