Government forces in Albania
Government forces in Kumanovo, Albania, where eight police officers were allegedly killed by a militant group. Getty Images

Five militant Kosovans led an armed group which was involved in deadly clashes with security forces in Kumanovo, north Macedonia, said the country's authorities.

Eight officers were killed and 37 injured, as well as 14 gunmen, interior ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said, reports the BBC.

He named five members of the Kosovo Liberation Army who he said were responsible for the attack.

Members of the group which launched the attack were reportedly wearing fatigues with the insignia of the organisation.

He alleged that Sami Ukshini, Beg Rizaj, Dem Shehu, Muhamet Krasniqi and Mirsad Ndrecaj led the group which launched the attack 25 miles from the capital Skopje, on Saturday.

Gordana Jankulovska, the interior minister, said that 20 members of the groups had surrendered, but others had refused to give up their weapons and were holed up in houses in the west of the town, which have been surrounded by security forces, who had cordoned off the area.

Kumanovo is close to the borders with Kosovo and Serbia.

In 2001, hostilities broke out in the region between ethnic Albanian rebels and government forces.

In recent months, there have been mass protests in the country against alleged police brutality.