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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 March, 2005, 11:03 GMT
Blast targets Kosovo's president
The black car (left) that was driving Mr Rugova stands on the side of the main road after the blast
The bomb was said to have been hidden in a rubbish bin
An explosion has hit the car of Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova while he was travelling in a convoy in the province's capital, Pristina.

Mr Rugova appeared unhurt by the blast at about 0820 (0720 GMT) as he headed to talks with top EU officials.

"Thank God I survived again," he said, referring to last year's incident when a grenade was hurled at his home.

Reports say one person was injured in the blast that appeared to be caused by a remote-controlled device.

'Destabilising Kosovo'

Mr Rugova was on his way to talks with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana when the blast occurred in central Pristina.

Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova. Archive picture
Ibrahim Rugova has been targeted in the past

The president was then seen being transferred to another car and rushed away, according to the Associated Press news agency.

"Unfortunately there are still elements which want to destabilise Kosovo," Mr Rugova told reporters after meeting Mr Solana.

The blast shattered windows in nearby glass, and one person was injured by flying glass, police spokeswoman Sabrije Kamberi said.

The device was reportedly hidden in a rubbish bin.

Moderate leader

The explosion happened a day after Kosovo's former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj, an ethnic Albanian, pleaded not guilty to charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the UN tribunal in The Hague.

Mr Solana was in Pristina to discuss the formation of a new government after Mr Haradinaj's resignation.

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

Kosovo 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.




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See President Ibrahim Rugova speak about the attempt



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