Death toll 'Reaches 8' after Attack in Macedonia's KumanovoSoutheast Europe | May 10, 2015, Sunday // 14:07| views
A policeman stands guard on a checkpoint as Macedonian special forces engage in a police action against an alleged group of armed Albanians, in Kumanovo, Macedonia, May 10, 2015. Photo by EPA/BGNES
More police officers have died of their wounds after the Saturday attack in Kumanovo, northwestern Macedonia, local media reports suggest.
Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska earlier said the shootout between gunmen and police had claimed the lives of 5 officers and had left 30 injured.
But over the past hours three of those taken to hospital have died of their wounds, according to various news sources including local TV stations Telma and Sitel.
Doctors have reported that some of the injured are in a critical state fighting for their lives, while others were wounded heavily. Part of the injured underwent surgery late on Saturday.
Conflicting reports emerge as to the situation in Kumanovo on Sunday, with some news services describing a "silent and peaceful" environment and other telling of occasional shooting.
There has been no official information of victims among Kumanovo residents.
For its part the Macedonian government claims the assault was the work of people "from a neighboring country".
Two separatist organizations, the National Liberation Army and the Guard of the Republic of Ilirida, have so far claimed responsibility.
Serbia's daily Telegraf argues the main goal of the attacks is to push for the creation of Greater Albania out of the current Albanian territories, Kosovo and land populated by the ethnic Albanian minority in Macedonia (making up to 25-30 percent of Macedonia's population).
Macedonian newspapers also report that President Gorge Ivanov has called a Security Council meeting to discuss the latest developments on Sunday, 17:00 local time.
Apart from members of the ruling party of PM Nikola Gruevski, VMRO-DPMNE, representatives of two major Albanian parties, DPA and DUI, and the socialist opposition leader Zoran Zaev (who has organized the latest wave of street protests in the country) are also invited to attend.