Kosovo police enter village after shootout with gunmen

STORY: Kosovar police moved in to secure and search a village in north Kosovo on Monday, after a shootout between police and ethnic Serb gunmen that left four people dead.

Police recovered a cache of weapons and military equipment during the operation.

And a search of houses in the village continued, as armed police looked for any gunmen who may not have fled.

The group of heavily armed attackers stormed the village of Banjska on Sunday, battling police and barricading themselves into a Serbian Orthodox monastery.

Police retook the monastery later that day. Three attackers and one police officer died in the gun fight.

The United States has condemned attacks on police and urged the governments of Kosovo and Serbia to defuse tensions.

Meanwhile, Russia said it was closely monitoring what it called a "potentially dangerous" situation.

Russia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country and traditionally supports Serbia.

Ethnic Albanians make up a majority of Kosovo's 1.8 million people.

But some 50,000 Serbs in the north of the former Serbian province do not accept Kosovo's 2008 declaration of independence.

They see Belgrade as their capital, more than two decades after a Kosovo Albanian guerrilla uprising against Serbian rule.

Here's Kosovo's Prime Minister, Albin Kurti.

"From yesterday, nothing can be the same anymore, the facts came out right in front of us, in our eyes and in the eyes of the international community as well as in the eyes of everyone who has the courage and will to see the truth of the region in which we live.”

Kurti has blamed Serbia for financing and sending armed men to Kosovo, a claim Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic denies.

Vucic blames Kurti for inciting violence by refusing to form an association of Serb municipalities to allow Serbs more autonomy, and by launching frequent police actions in the north.

Tensions have been running high since clashes in northern Kosovo in May, when more than 90 NATO peacekeeping soldiers and some 50 Serb protesters were injured in northern Kosovo.