Serbian Factions Trade Accusations


Serbian public TV is reporting that members of rival Serbian Islamic factions. one tied to the global Muslim Brotherhood, have accused each other of violence or planing violence. Previous posts have discussed the conflict between the two factions which consist of one group in southwest Serbia led by Chief Mufti Muamer Zukorlic, who is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood linked Grand Mufti in Bosnia, and another loyal to an Imam in Belgrade. Zukorlic was recently asked by a group of Muslim clerics to resign as head of the Islamic Community of Serbia (ICS) but the decision was declared void by Zukorlic’ supporters. Tensions have remained high in the Novi Pazar region southwest of Belgrade and the rivalry between two recently escalated into an armed clash outside a mosque in Novi Pazar. According to the latest report:

[Reporter] According to a statement by the Mesihat [head office]of the Islamic Community in Serbia submitted to Tanjug, an armed group of men – including Esad Cosovic and Orlan Corovic – attempted an armed attack against a column of vehicles carrying Muamer Zukorlic. The attack was stopped thanks to swift and energetic moves by Mesihat’s security. Attackers were disarmed and two pieces of firearms were seized from them, the statement said. On the other hand, the Information service of the Riyaset of the Islamic Community of Serbia filed information to Tanjug that Corovic and Cosovic – employees of the Riyaset – had been attacked while they were strolling through the downtown area. Their statement said that a dozen of Zukorlic’s people had got out of four vehicles – they had first cocked their guns and then beat Corovic and Cosovic using these weapons and inflicting serious injuries upon them. A surgeon in the Novi Pazar hospital, Dr Kemal Brnicanin confirmed that Corovic and Cosovic had sought medical assistance over, as he put it, light bodily injuries, adding that they were released home following medical assistance.

The report also indicated that both sides sought urgent reaction by relevant institutions, the police and the prosecution.

(Source: BBC Monitoring Europe – Political February 26, 2008 Tuesday Members of rival Muslim groups physically settle scores in Serbian Sandzak Text of report by Serbian public broadcaster RTS TV, RTS1 TV, Belgrade, in Serbian 1300gmt 26 Feb 08)

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