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Last Updated: Friday, 12 March, 2004, 15:24 GMT
Grenade attack on Kosovo leader
Rugova's residence in Pristina
No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack
A grenade has been thrown at the residence of Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova, according to officials.

Windows were shattered but no-one was seriously hurt in the explosion, though Mr Rugova and his family were said to be in the house at the time.

Police said the grenade was apparently thrown at the house from a passing car just before 0600 local time (0500 GMT).

Mr Rugova is a moderate ethnic Albanian leader who led passive resistance to Serbian rule in the 1990s.

This is believed to be the first attack against Mr Rugova, 59, who was elected president by the provincial parliament in 2002.

No arrests have been made since the attack, in the Velanija suburb of the Kosovo capital Pristina, and no-one has claimed to have carried it out.

Ibrahim Rugova
Rugova led passive resistance to Serbian rule
"This is a criminal act directed against the highest institution of our country [meaning Kosovo] and we condemn it in the strongest terms," said presidential adviser Muhamet Hamiti.

Officials in Mr Rugova's party have been killed in the past in what are believed to be tensionsf within the Albanian community.

The incident comes days after the beginning of the first substantive talks between Serbian and ethnic Albanian representatives since the war of 1999.

The province is currently under UN administration, but it remains part of Serbia and Montenegro.

The ethnic Albanian majority in Kosovo wants independence, while Serbia fiercely opposes the idea.

Its final status is not on the agenda of the talks.

Kosovo's deep divide
13 Oct 03  |  Europe
Country profile: Serbia and Montenegro
03 Mar 04  |  Country profiles

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