Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Explosion in Kosovo wounds four Serbs

PRISTINA, Serbia, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Four elderly Serbs were wounded in an explosion in the western Kosovo town of Klina on Tuesday evening, police said.

A Serb official in the area told Reuters a bomb had been thrown through the window of the victims' apartment in the town centre.

Police spokeswoman Sabrije Kamberi said the four had been sent to hospital but their injuries were not life-threatening.

Police said the victims were former refugees who had returned to Klina a year ago having fled Kosovo after the 1998-99 war.

Legally part of Serbia, the mainly ethnic Albanian province has been run by the United Nations since 1999, when NATO bombs drove out Serb forces accused of ethnic cleansing in a two-year war with Albanian guerrillas.

Negotiations are under way to decide the fate of the territory. Its 90-percent Albanian majority demands independence, but is under Western pressure to improve the rights and security of the 100,000 remaining Serbs.

At least half the Serb population fled a wave of revenge attacks after the war, and those who stayed live mainly in isolated enclaves.

U.N. officials say the rate of attacks against Serbs has fallen, but they fear fresh violence as a decision nears on Kosovo's "final status".

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