CEOL
Serb church detroyed in Southeast Kosovo blast

PRISTINA, Jul 2, 2000 -- (AFP) A Serbian Orthodox church was destroyed by an explosion in the southeastern Kosovo village of Podgorce, said a spokesman for the KFOR international force Saturday.

Two people, apparently ethnic Albanians, were detained after the blast which occurred at 4:30 p.m. (1430 GMT) Friday, said Captain Russell Berg.

A crowd of some 40 Serbs gathered peacefully by the ruins the church, located near the volatile and ethnically mixed town of Vitina, he said.

Serb leaders say some 80 churches and monasteries have been destroyed or damaged since NATO-led peacekeepers took over security in the province after Yugoslav forces were bombed out last year.

In another incident in the village of Cernica, near the southeastern town of Gnjilane, a grenade exploded in the yard of a Serbian house, causing no injuries, said Berg.

Three people, including a four-year-old child, were shot dead in the village in May, part of a spate of anti-Serb attacks that have raised tensions in the Yugoslav province in recent weeks.



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