NY Times
Fire engulfs factory in Kosovo city

May 26, 2000


KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Yugoslavia (AP) -- NATO peacekeepers manned hoses today as they put out a fire at an abandoned car battery factory in Kosovo's tensest city.

The fire broke out at a warehouse early today and raged out of control for 3 1/2 hours, said Station Commander Ray Munro of the U.N. police. Authorities briefly shut down roads leading to the city, which is divided into an ethnic Albanian southern section and a predominantly Serb northern part.

The factory was located in the southern ethnic Albanian section of Kosovska Mitrovica, 25 miles south of the capital, Pristina.

Munro said the factory had not operated for at least five years, and that it was believed that no toxic substances were released into the atmosphere.

The fire flared again later for about 30 minutes before being extinguished. The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, Munro said.

The state-run Tanjug news agency, which reflects the views of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's government, blamed ethnic Albanian "extremists."



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