CEOL
Nine explosions hit Kosovo Serb enclave

PRISTINA, Apr 24, 2000 -- (Reuters) Nine explosions rocked a Kosovo Serb enclave guarded by Italian troops but no casualties were reported, the province's NATO-led peacekeeping force said on Sunday.

A KFOR statement said three craters were found near a peacekeepers' checkpoint on the edge of Gorazdevac, a crumbling Serb village with some 1,000 people in western Kosovo, and six more near a cluster of adjacent Gypsy homes.

It said the incident occurred on Saturday evening but gave no further details pending an inquiry.

Earlier, the independent Serbian news agency Beta said that nine rockets fired from a portable launcher had crashed into Gorazdevac at around 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) on Saturday.

However, a KFOR officer told Reuters the projectiles were probably mortar bombs because they usually caused craters, unlike shoulder-launched rockets or rocket-propelled grenades.

Beta said some houses were damaged in the incident.

Gorazdevac is believed to be the only Serb community left in western Kosovo.

Most of Kosovo's estimated 200,000 Serb minority fled the Yugoslav province last year for fear of ethnic Albanian reprisals after NATO air strikes ousted Serbian security forces who had been waging a brutal anti-guerrilla campaign.

The ethnic Albanian Kosovo Liberation Army was formally disbanded and disarmed by KFOR last year but ex-guerrillas and paramilitary gangsters alike have retained portable war weaponry of varying kinds. Armed violence still afflicts Kosovo.



Original article