Explosion in northern Kosovo injures 9, including British policeman

Published on August 28, 2006, Canadian Press

Category: Violence Against Christian Serbs and Their Holy Places

Canadian Press
Published: Sunday, August 27, 2006

PRISTINA, Serbia (AP) - An explosion at a bar in Kosovo's tense north injured nine people Saturday night, including a British policeman with UN forces in the Serbian province, officials said.

An explosive device was thrown at the Dolce Vita bar shortly before 7 p.m. local time in the ethnically divided town Kosovska Mitrovica, UN police spokesman Larry Miller said. He said a possible suspect was detained for questioning.

"Two of those injured are foreign nationals, one of them is a police officer," Miller said, without giving further details.

A spokesman for the British office in Kosovo said a British citizen serving with the UN police in the province was among the injured.

A Dutch woman was also hurt in the explosion, said Milan Ivanovic, director of the hospital in Kosovska Mitrovica.

Kosovska Mitrovica has often been the scene of clashes between Albanians and Serbs. The river Ibar divides the town between its northern Serbian-controlled sector and the Albanian south.

The incident came a day after the UN's chief envoy for negotiations aimed at resolving Kosovo's post-war status, Martti Ahtisaari, finished a three-day visit to the province. The envoy's latest trip was aimed at pressing Albanians to grant more rights to minority Serbs.

There have been fears of rising tension between Kosovo's communities during the status talks, which are expected to conclude by year's end.

NATO troops reopened a military base in the Serbian-dominated area in northern Kosovo and UN police deployed about 500 police officers to boost security after local Serbian officials said they would sever ties with Albanian-dominated institutions following a series of violent incidents they blamed on Albanians.

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