Kosovo police 'foil IS attack' on Israeli football team

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Albanian police lined up outside the Elbasan stadium ahead of the Albania-Israel football match.

Kosovan police say they have foiled a plot by so-called Islamic State (IS) to attack the Israeli football team when it visited Albania last week.

Nineteen arrests were made ahead of Israel's World Cup qualifier and the group is also suspected of planning attacks inside Kosovo itself.

Explosive devices and weapons were found along with "extremist" literature, police say.

The match was moved from one Albanian city to another as a result.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Israel won their football match against Albania, 3-0, but played in a different location because of security fears.

Police say the group was coordinated by two Albanian members of IS in Syria.

One of those arrested was later released.

Israel had been set to play in Shkoder, close to the Montenegro border, on Saturday but security concerns led to the match being moved to Elbasan, nearer to the capital, Tirana.

In a statement, police said they believed the suspects had "clear targets".

Kosovo, which has an ethnic Albanian majority, broke away from Serbia in 1999 and eventually declared independence, in a move not recognised by the UN.

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