Macedonian special police end blockade

A tense standoff has ended in Macedonia when members of an armed unit lifted their two-day blockade of the main road near the capital, Skopje.

The agreement came after talks between the Lions special police squad and President Boris Trajkovski and Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski. Under deal, the unit is to be disbanded with most of its members joining the regular police and army. The Lions were set up by a former interior minister – belonging to a nationalist party – to fight ethnic Albanian insurgents in 2001. Human rights groups and foreign observers have blamed them for increasing inter-ethnic tensions in spite of a relatively successful peace process following the hostilities. Full Story

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