Saturday, 15 July, 2000Kosovo town rocked by gunfire
Renewed violence has erupted in the divided northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica, a flashpoint for clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.
International peacekeepers say mortar-fire and grenades were directed at the Serb-run Dolce Vita cafe and apparently came from the Albanian-dominated south of the town.
The rounds brought an angry crowd of hundreds of Serbs onto the streets, according to Colonel Henry Aussavy.
When the French commander of the K-For peacekeeping force's northern brigade, General Jean-Louis Sublet, arrived on the scene around an hour later, bursts of automatic gunfire were heard, Colonel Aussavy said.
In an attempt to defuse the situation, General Sublet held negotiations with Oliver Ivanovic, the mayor of Serbian Mitrovica.
At around midnight on Friday, a further explosion was reported close to an ethnic Albanian pocket in the north of the city as the crowd was dispersing peacefully.
Peacekeepers say French forces have deployed soldiers along the Ibar river, which divides Mitrovica, in an attempt to discover who fired at the northern sector.
No one is thought to have been hurt in the firing or the grenade attacks, and calm has now been restored to the town.
Catalogue of violence
There have been sporadic outbreaks of violence in Mitrovica in the past five months, much of it directed at peacekeepers and aid organisations.
On Thursday the international police in Kosovo said they had registered more than 1,900 offences in Mitrovica between January and June this year, including 459 assaults on people.
According to the ethnic Albanian Kosovapress news agency, Serb militants threw stones at several Albanian houses after a protest earlier in the week.