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Tuesday, 24 October, 2000, 07:46 GMT 08:46 UK
Pristina rocket attack targets Serbs
Bernard Kouchner and Natasha Kandic
Bernard Kouchner reassures local Serb leader Natasha Kandic
By Jacky Rowland in Pristina

Attackers in the Kosovo capital, Pristina, have fired a rocket-propelled grenade at a block of flats housing several hundred Serbs.

No-one was hurt by the missile, but it was a serious act of intimidation against the dwindling Serb community in Kosovo.

The attack came five days before municipal elections in Kosovo which are being boycotted by most members of the Serb community.

K-For troops in Kosovo
K-For troops are keeping a close eye on security ahead of elections
The attacker apparently fired a shoulder-launched missile from a piece of wasteland behind the housing complex, which is guarded by British peacekeeping troops.

People living in the block said they heard a strong detonation.

The troops put up a cordon and moved families to safety in a nearby community centre.

A K-For spokesman described the incident as a cowardly attack which did nothing to help the democratic process in Kosovo.

There was also condemnation from the top international official in the province, Bernard Kouchner, who came to reassure Serb families.

He said more should be done to improve security and freedom of movement for local Serbs.

The attack came five days before Kosovo Albanians are due to elect local councils in a poll organised by the international community.

Most Serbs do not recognise the vote and won't be participating.

The rocket attack appears designed to increase tension and insecurity in the run-up to the elections.

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See also:

18 Oct 00 | Europe
Kosovo courts 'biased'
21 Sep 00 | Europe
The Kosovo factor
06 Jul 00 | Europe
Kosovo papers defy UN
21 Mar 00 | Europe
Nato chief seeks Kosovo tolerance
05 Feb 00 | Europe
Spotlight on UN's Kosovo task
25 Jan 00 | Europe
New judges sworn in in Kosovo
20 Oct 00 | Europe
Belgrade changes worry Kosovo
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