Kosovo telecoms chief escapes attack

Published on March 2, 2007, Reuters

Category: Organized Crime in Kosovo

PRISTINA, Serbia (Reuters) - The head of Kosovo's telecommunications authority escaped unhurt when gunmen opened fire on his official vehicle on Wednesday, police said.

The attack occurred at 7:30 a.m. British time on the main road from the capital, Pristina, to the western town of Pec.

"We found shells from a handgun and an automatic weapon," said police spokesman Agron Borovci. "The car was hit, but no one was hurt."

Four people were in the car at the time, including Anton Berisha of the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) and two members of his family.

The TRA was recently involved in awarding a second mobile phone licence in Serbia's Albanian-majority province of Kosovo. The region has been run by the United Nations since 1999, when NATO bombs drove out Serb forces accused of atrocities in a two-year war with guerrillas.

Organised crime in the area is rife and dozens of unsolved killings since 1999 have been attributed to mafia feuds.

A U.N. plan unveiled this month offers Kosovo a path to independence but needs U.N. Security Council approval.

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