July 22, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 22-07-03

EXTREMISTS STRIKE BACK
UN POLICE, JUDICIARY TARGETED AFTER WAR CRIME VERDICT - TWO BLASTS ROCK DOWNTOWN PRISTINA

CONTENTS:

BBC: BLASTS HIT KOSOVO CAPITAL - GRENADE HITS COURT BUILDING
SHOTS FIRED AT HOME OF KOSOVO PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

More News Available on our:

KOSOVO DAILY NEWS LIST (KDN)
KDN Archive

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BLASTS HIT KOSOVO CAPITAL

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BBC 2003/07/21 00:31:50 GMT


Two blasts have rocked Kosovo's capital Pristina in what the police says was a deliberate attack on the judiciary of the UN-administered Yugoslav province.

The explosions happened shortly after 2100 local time (1900GMT) on Sunday within seconds of each other in the centre of the city. There were no reports of injuries.

"The first explosion took place by the District Court building and the second one at a police station," UN police spokesman Barry Fletcher said.

Mr Fletcher - who said the motive of the attack was unclear - added that a police vehicle was damaged at the station housing both international and local policemen.

Nato-led peacekeepers assisted by local police rushed to the scene and cordoned off the areas.

Traffic was diverted as bomb disposal experts were investigating the scene.

It was the second attack on a police station in Kosovo in the last few days.

On Thursday, an explosion occurred near a station in the town of Podujevo, about 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Pristina.

It came a day after four former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) from the same area were convicted of war crimes by a UN-run court.

Kosovo has been under UN administration since Nato's bombing campaign forced Yugoslavia to withdraw its troops from the province in 1999.
 

Grenade Hits Kosovo Court Building, UN Police Say

REUTERS: Mon July 21, 2003 11:32 AM ET

PRISTINA, Serbia and Montenegro (Reuters) - A rocket-propelled grenade slammed into a Pristina courthouse and a blast damaged a police car nearby in almost simultaneous attacks, U.N. officials in Kosovo said on Monday.

The targeting of the district court building on Sunday night was one of the most serious attacks against the judiciary in U.N.-run Kosovo, where international officials are struggling to build the rule of law following the 1999 conflict.

Less than a minute later at around 9 p.m. (1900 GMT), a hand grenade exploded beneath a police vehicle parked outside a U.N. police station a few hundred meters (yards) away.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the violence, which damaged an office in the court but did not hurt anybody.

U.N. police commissioner Stefan Feller noted local speculation that it may be linked to the first war crimes conviction last week of former Kosovo Albanian rebels. He said several other police cars were vandalized at the weekend.

Many Kosovo Albanians regard ex-members of the now disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army as heroes in a war of liberation against harsh Serb rule when Slobodan Milosevic was president of Yugoslavia.

"I will categorize this as cowardly criminal incidents... carried out by people who obviously attempt to threaten the police and judiciary," Feller said outside the court building, where a hole in the wall showed where the grenade entered.

An international panel of judges last Wednesday sentenced prominent ex-rebel chief Rrustem Mustafa, known by his nom-de-guerre "Remi," to 17 years in jail for war crimes.

Three more ex-rebels were also given jail terms for torturing fellow Albanians suspected of collaborating with Serb officials. Remi, one of KLA's top commanders, and two of the others were also found guilty of killing five civilians.

Kosovo was placed under U.N.-led administration in June 1999 after NATO's bombing campaign to end Serbian repression of Kosovo's Albanian majority.

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SHOTS FIRED AT HOME OF KOSOVO PARLIAMENT SPEAKER

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Beta News Agency, Belgrade
July 21, 2003


PRISTINA -- Monday - The house belonging to Kosovo's parliamentary speaker was shot at this morning, United Nations police in the province said today.

UN police spokesman Barry Fletcher said that bullets had been found outside Nexhat Daci's Pristina home, which had suffered material damage.

He said that an investigation was underway.

A grenade was lobbed at the UN police building in Pristina shortly after midnight, and the Pristina District Court also came under fire last night.

Tensions in the province are said to be running high after four former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army were found guilty on Wednesday of war crimes and sentenced to between five and 17 years imprisonment.


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ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
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