The four people killed in a shootout between Macedonian police and a group of arms smugglers near the village of Radusa at the Macedonian-Kosovo border during the night between Tuesday and Wednesday were trying to smuggle a large quantity of weapons in a van, Macedonian police confirmed on Wednesday.
The police said in a statement that two of the people killed were identified as Macedonian citizens and one as a citizen of Kosovo. They were killed together with the fourth person, whose identity has not been established yet. Available information indicates that the fourth person is from Kosovo as well, the police said.
Interior Ministry spokesman Ivo Koteski said the police had been informed of the illegal arms transport.
"The police came under fire as they tried to stop the van, so they fired back and killed the attackers," Koteski said, adding that a large quantity of weapons was discovered in the van.
Two weeks ago, the Macedonian border police seized a large stash of weapons near the village of Blaca, wounding a member of a criminal gang which escaped to Kosovo.