MIA correspondent in Kumanovo informs that a spate of detonations and intensified machine gun fire is heard from a south-western part of the city where Macedonian police and an armed group were locked in fighting since early Saturday morning.
The intensified fighting follows the arrival of police reinforcements. Local citizens in the ethnically mixed part of the city, that has Macedonians, Albanians and Serbs living side by side, are evacuating, some by foot and other by police vehicles.
Firefighting teams also withdrew from the road-blocks put up by the police to prevent civilians from entering the zone. Several houses were apparently burnt in the fighting, with smoke rising above them, while helicopters are circling overhead. Media also report that at least one of the two elementary schools that service the area is involved in the fighting.