By Peter FinnEx-KLA figure slain in Kosovo capital
Tuesday, April 18, 2000
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia--A former leading member of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army was shot and killed on Pristina's main street yesterday afternoon, U.N. and ethnic Albanian officials said. Besim Mala was killed outside a hamburger restaurant about 2:20 p.m., and another man was seriously wounded. Officials said that U.N. police have arrested a suspect, but they did not identify him.
Mala, who is about 30 years old, was also a senior figure in the group's successor organization, the civilian Kosovo Protection Corps. He had fought in the Drenica region in central Kosovo, a key region in the rebels' campaign for Kosovo independence against Serb-led Yugoslav forces last year, and trained and served with the group's special forces unit known as the Tigers.
Police offered no motive for the shooting, but according to local reports, Mala was involved in a verbal dispute on the street with another ethnic Albanian man who pulled a gun and shot him.