One killed, 5 hurt in Kosovo flashpoint town blast

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 08, 2012 2:38 AM
One killed, 5 hurt in Kosovo flashpoint town blast

PRISTINA (Reuters) - A bomb killed a Kosovo Albanian and wounded his wife and four children on Sunday at their home in Mitrovica, a flashpoint for tensions between ethnic Albanians and Serbs, police said.

The 38-year-old Kosovo Albanian was killed in the early hours by the bomb planted outside his apartment at Three Towers, an area where few Albanian families live in the Serb-controlled northern part of the city. His family members were treated in hospital for minor injuries.

"An explosive device, believed to be a quantity of plastic explosive, was put and activated on the window of the ground floor apartment of the Haradinaj family," the police said in a statement. No arrests were made and the police said no motive had been established.

Albanians and Serbs mostly live separately in Mitrovica, divided by a river.

Kosovo Serbs, backed by Belgrade, reject Kosovo's 2008 secession and effectively live as if still in part of Serbia.

Belgrade lost control of Kosovo in 1999 when NATO bombed Serbia to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians by Serb forces fighting a two-year counter-insurgency war.

Tensions between the two countries have risen in recent weeks after Serbia said it planned to include its former province in local, parliamentary and presidential elections due next month.

A week ago Serbia arrested and later released two Kosovo police border officers when they were patrolling the border.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)