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Sunday, 15 April 2012

Five killed in Macedonia, fear of rising ethnic tension

SKOPJE (Reuters) - Police in Macedonia have found the bodies of five people who were shot dead near a lake just outside the capital Skopje, the authorities said on Friday, a grisly discovery that risks fuelling tensions in the ethnically volatile country.

Authorities deployed riot police and the interior minister called for calm as hundreds of residents of the nearby village of Radisani, home to some of the victims, gathered to demand a quick investigation and attacked cars and television crews.

Local TV stations said the victims were Macedonians and ran pictures of some of them, although police said they had yet to identify the victims or the perpetrators.

Only last month, several people were injured and dozens were arrested in a string of tit-for-tat attacks between youths from Macedonia's Slavic-speaking majority and ethnic Albanian minority.

The timing of the killings - on the eve of Orthodox Good Friday and just two days ahead of Easter - could trigger further unrest in the former Yugoslav republic of 2 million people

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