CEOL
Kosovar Albanian family injured in blast

PRISTINA, Jul 4, 2000 -- (AFP) A pregnant woman and a six-month-old baby were among four ethnic Albanians injured in an explosion in southeastern Kosovo on Monday, a spokesman for the KFOR peacekeeping force said.

UN police investigating the blast said that a house belonging to a Roma gypsy had been destroyed in the explosion, which damaged two neighboring homes including the one in which the family were sleeping.

No-one was injured in the home targeted by the blast or in the other adjacent house, KFOR said.

A man, two women and a baby were taken to a nearby hospital after the explosion, which took place in the village of Kabas, near Vitina in the southeast of the disputed province at 3:45 a.m. (0245 GMT).

Three of the injured were released from hospital an hour and a half later but the pregnant woman was kept in for treatment, KFOR spokesman Major Scott Slaten said.

The ethnically mixed southeastern area of Kosovo, which is under the control of KFOR's US-led eastern brigade, has been scene of a series of attacks in recent weeks.

On Saturday an elderly Serbian farmer was killed by a masked gang as he tended his cattle near the village of Cernica.

On Friday, a grenade exploded in the yard of a Serb-owned house in the Cernica, causing no injuries.

On May 28, three people, including a four-year-old child, were shot dead in the same village. An ethnic Albanian was later arrested by peacekeepers in connection with their murder.

Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations since June last year when a NATO-led peacekeeping force took control of the province.

The UN Security Council resolution which set up the administration states that Kosovo is to remain part of the federal Yugoslav but enjoy "substantial autonomy."

This provision falls short of the full independence demanded by ethnic Albanian politicians and former guerrilla leaders and violence between members of the majority ethnic Albanian population, Serbs and other ethnic groups, including the Roma, is common.



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