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06SKOPJE517 2006-05-30 05:54:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Skopje
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1. (U) Three ethnic Albanian youths were killed and six were
injured after a drive-by shooting at an internet cafe in the
Skopje municipality of Cair late May 18. A Ministry of
Interior (MOI) spokesman told the local press on May 22 the
police suspect an inter-family blood feud was the motive for
the shooting, but that the shooters mistakenly targeted the
young victims. MOI officials believe the shooters either
fled to Kosovo after the incident, or are hiding in the
nearby, predominantly eAlbanian, municipality of Aracinovo.

2. (U) Immediately following the killing, which shocked
Skopje residents unaccustomed to such random shootings, Cair
municipal councilors declared a day of mourning and called on
the MOI to increase the police presence in the municipality.
The ethnic Albanian Mayor of Cair, a member of the governing
coalition junior partner DUI party, announced the city would
hire a private security agency to help patrol the Skopje Old
Bazaar, which falls within the Cair city limits. On May 24,
over one thousand people, mostly ethnic Albanians, held a
peaceful, multi-ethnic rally in Cair, calling for an end to
violence and for stronger curbs on private possession of

3. (SBU) Comment: The predominantly ethnic Albanian Cair city
council's call for increased MOI patrols in the wake of the
shootings reflects growing local confidence in the police.
An MOI contact on May 26 told us a high level of trust and
cooperation has developed between the Cair city
administration and the local police department, which he
claims is one of the most operationally efficient in the
Skopje metropolitan area. He also pointed out that Cair has
one of the lowest crime rates in Skopje; therefore, it is
unlikely the MOI will increase its police presence in the
municipality. With parliamentary elections approaching in
early July, we will watch to see if Cair comes to rely on
private security services, since such groups sometimes are
used by political parties to intimidate voters and opposing
parties on election day. End Comment.