KFOR Commander Markus Bentler said on Thursday (July 8th) that NATO is concerned about situation in northern Kosovo. He urged the public to refrain from violence and for authorities to find those responsible for the bomb attack during a demonstration in Mitrovica a week ago that left one person dead and 11 injured. It happened during a rally against the opening of a Kosovo government office in the Serb-dominated town. Bentler said that KFOR was informed of the government's plan to open the office but was not involved in the decision. "We are not a part of the political process," he noted.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hashim Thaci urged Belgrade to distance itself from inciting violence in Kosovo. At a government meeting, he said that Pristina will not drop its efforts to make courts and the customs agency functional in the north. Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi stressed that the rule of law and order will prevail in Mitrovica "despite Belgrade's attempts to destabilise the situation".