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May 10, 2015 11:28 AM

Gunmen in Macedonia had planned several attacks, leader says

The Associated Press

KUMANOVO, Macedonia (AP) Macedonia's prime minister says the armed group involved in bloody battles with the police this weekend in this northern town had aimed to attack state buildings and public spaces.

The 40-strong armed group was made up of well-trained fighters that participated in operations in the region and the Middle East, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski told reporters.

Gruevski said the group aimed to attack state institutions, sport events and shopping malls.

"One of the aims of the group, at least, was to destabilize Macedonia," Gruevski added.

Gruevski effusively praised the police forces, among whom 8 died and 37 were injured. At least 14 alleged members of the armed group were also killed.

He added that the armed group was not supported by members of Macedonia's ethnic Albania minority.


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