Monday, December 26, 2005

Two Serbs wounded in attacks in northern Kosovo

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Serbia-Montenegro (AP) - Two ethnic Serbs were wounded early Monday in separate attacks in U.N.-run Kosovo, police officials and doctors said.

The incidents happened around 0100 GMT in the Serb-held part of Kosovska Mitrovica, an ethnically divided town in the north of the province.

Police said that one person was seriously injured and the other lightly. Spokesman Sami Mehmeti gave no other details, but said there was no immediate indication that the attacks were ethnically motivated.

According to Serb sources in Kosovska Mitrovica, unknown assailants first shot at 35-year-old Branislav Antovic, a guard for the local authorities.

Local doctor Milan Ivanovic said Antovic was in life-threatening condition following four hours of surgery.

Dejan Maksimovic, 24, was shot in the leg while at his home in the ethnically mixed Bosnjacka Mahala part of town. Maksimovic told Belgrade-based Beta news agency that the attacker climbed to his balcony and fired at him.

Ivanovic said Maksimovic also underwent surgery but was in stable condition.

Kosovo remains tense years after a Serb-Albanian war over the region. There are fears that tensions could soar in the run-up to U.N.-brokered talks next year on the province's future status.

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