PRISTINA, Serbia (AP) - The top U.N. police official in Kosovo said Monday that authorities were questioning two people over last week's slaying of a Serb youth and insisted there was no evidence to show that the killing was motivated by ethnicity.
The investigation of the shooting of Milan Veskovic "has thus far not revealed an interethnic connection," U.N. police commissioner Kai Vittrup said, while the Serb minority in northern Kosovo rallied to protest what they said was an increase in violent attacks against their community.
Several thousand Serbs gathered in the northern town of Zvecan, saying they would sever ties with Kosovo's institutions, which are dominated by representatives of the ethnic Albanian majority.
"The attacks were systematic, planned crimes to intimidate and ethnically cleanse Serb population from Kosovo," Serb leader Momir Kasalovic said.
Kasalovic cited two earlier incidents, including a woman who was seriously wounded in a shooting. Kasalovic blamed ethnic Albanian militants for the attacks and accused the province's U.N. officials of failing to protect the dwindling Serb community.
Police, however, have said the woman was wounded by a stray bullet in her yard and it appeared to have been discharged as part of celebratory gunfire from a nearby wedding party.
In the other attack, two men working at a gas station were shot multiple times and were recovering in hospital. Authorities have not established the attackers' identities, prompting Serb demands to find them.
Kasalovic represents several Serb municipalities and he said that "no Serbs will be on payroll any more" in health care, education and local government in Kosovo. He said the decision would take effect immediately.
A Serb boycott would probably not significantly affect Kosovo's institutions since only a small fraction of public employees in the province are Serbs.
Vittrup announced the police were putting into place "additional security procedures to ensure the safety of all Kosovo citizens," according to a U.N. statement. He did not elaborate.
Veskovic, 22, died of three gunshot wounds fired from an automatic weapon Thursday while he was in his car driving home in the northern part of the province after attending a party, authorities say.
Kosovo has been administered by a U.N. mission since mid-1999, when a NATO air war stopped a crackdown by Serb forces on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.
Tensions between ethnic Albanians and Serbs remain high seven years since the end of the war. But the U.N. mission in Kosovo announced recently that ethnically motivated crime is decreasing in the disputed province.