CEOL
Local Albanian official injured in Kosovo shooting

PRISTINA, Aug 3, 2000 -- (Reuters) An ethnic Albanian politician was shot and wounded in northeastern Kosovo on Tuesday, the province's UN administration said on Wednesday.

UN spokeswoman Susan Manuel said Agim Veliu, a local leader of the moderate Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) party in Podujevo, was taken to hospital in Pristina after being shot in the back and arm.

His condition was not life-threatening and he was later released from hospital.

The NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force said the assailants were reported to have been driving in a grey or black BMW car when they shot at Veliu, who is also deputy director of the municipal assembly.

Opinion polls point to victory for the LDK in October municipal elections which have been billed by the West as the first free and fair vote in the province's history.

Many international officials see the LDK as more moderate and closer to Western values than parties which have emerged from the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) that fought Serb rule in Kosovo, prompting NATO intervention last year.

But if the LDK does well, Western officials fear a backlash from former guerrillas who now wield power in many areas.



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