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The BBC's Nicholas Wood in Pristina
"The explosion comes amid increasing frustration among some Kosovo-Albanians"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 22 November, 2000, 15:47 GMT
Five killed in Serbian ethnic clashes
Forensic teams are searching the area of the Pristina bomb
At least four Serbian policemen have been killed and several wounded in clashes with Albanian separatists in south-eastern Serbia, senior Serbian government officials have said.

The reports follow the killing of a man and the injuring of another in a bomb attack on the home of the Yugoslav Government's representative in the capital of Kosovo, Pristina.

This could lead to a large-scale war

Government official Zoran Djindjic
The Yugoslav representative, Stanimir Vukicevic, was unhurt in the dawn attack on his home.

The attacks came amid increasing frustration among many Albanians over their hopes for independence for Kosovo.

Yugoslavia's integration with the international community following the election of President Vojislav Kostunica has been interpreted by many as putting a hold on their plans for statehood.


Yugoslav Interior Minister Zoran Zivkovic said that about 400 ethnic Albanians armed with mortars and other heavy weapons had infiltrated Serbian territory from Kosovo on Tuesday.

The bodies of four Serbian policemen were found near the village of Konculj.

Government official Zoran Djindjic warned that the clashes could lead to "a large-scale war".

He called on the Nato-led Kosovo peacekeeping force K-For to stop such actions and threatened to send Yugoslav Army and Serbian police to deal with the situation.

K-For has repeatedly said that it opposes the Albanian actions and has carried out a number of raids against suspected bases within Kosovo.

Liberation army

Police said earlier that the attack was carried out by a group known as the Liberation Army for Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac (UCPMB).

The UCPMB, named after three predominantly Albanian towns in the area bordering Kosovo, is believed to have been involved in about 50 clashes with Serbian police over the past year as it campaigns to be included in Kosovo's claims for independence.

All have taken place within the so-called Ground Safety Zone, a 5-km Belgrade-controlled zone along the border with Kosovo.

The zone is out of bounds to both the Yugoslav Army and K-for, but is patrolled by lightly-armed Serbian police.

Rubble covers man

Ten kilos of military explosives were said to have been used in the bomb attack on the Yugoslav representative in Kosovo.

The blast tore through the ground floor of the house, breaking doors, windows and blowing off roof tiles in a widespread area.

The dead man is reported to be representative Stanimir Vukicevic's driver.

The injured man, a guard, was found beneath the rubble.

No-one has admitted the latest bomb. Ethnic-Albanian militants were blamed for a similar attack last month when a nearby Serb apartment block was damaged by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations since June last year when K-for arrived in the province to put an end to the Yugoslav army's attempt to put down an ethnic Albanian separatist rebellion.

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See also:

20 Oct 00 | Europe
Belgrade changes worry Kosovo
21 Sep 00 | Europe
The Kosovo factor
14 Oct 00 | Europe
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