(Pristina) Four Kosovar police officers were arrested on Tuesday evening for their alleged involvement in an incident in which a Serb was shot and injured near a checkpoint, as Belgrade and Pristina negotiate a new plan to normalize their relations, an official source announced.

“Four police officers were arrested and detained for 48 hours,” Kosovo Interior Minister Xhelal Svecla wrote on Facebook.

One of the four police officers is suspected of having been directly involved in this incident, while all four are suspected of not having informed their hierarchy, according to the same source.

The man who was shot, a 38-year-old Serb, told Serbian public television (RTS) that he was injured while driving his car on Monday evening, just after passing through a checkpoint of the special forces of the Kosovo police stationed on a road in northern Kosovo, a region where many members of the Serbian minority live.

Wounded in the shoulder, he was operated on in a hospital in the predominantly Serb part of the divided city of Mitrovica, said the director of this establishment, Zlatan Elek.

According to the Minister of the Interior, the driver ignored calls from the police asking him to stop. “The officer then opened fire in the direction of the car, wounding citizen M.J.,” Mr. Svecla said.

At first, the Kosovo police had indicated Tuesday morning that their members were not involved in the incident, before issuing another statement in the evening to say that they had been suspended.

A similar incident took place on the same road in January.

A Serbian government official in charge of Kosovo, Petar Petkovic, denounced the incident, saying it was a “completely illegal checkpoint”.

Tensions have been frequent since November in northern Kosovo, where many Serbs refuse all loyalty to Pristina, with the encouragement of Serbia, which does not recognize the independence proclaimed in 2008 by its former province.

Hundreds of Serbs, including elected officials, police, judges and prosecutors, employed in Kosovo structures in the north, resigned in November in protest at the decision – since suspended – to ban Kosovo Serbs from use license plates issued by Serbia.

This measure by Pristina was part of its attempts to establish its sovereignty over the entire territory, whose population of 1.8 million inhabitants is mainly of Albanian origin. The Serbian community numbers approximately 120,000 people.