Playing Serb children injured in grenade attack

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The Independent Online

British peacekeepers beefed up their patrols in Kosovo yesterday after a grenade attack injured nine Serb children playing basketball in a village six miles outside the capital after a bomb damaged political offices in Pristina itself.

British peacekeepers beefed up their patrols in Kosovo yesterday after a grenade attack injured nine Serb children playing basketball in a village six miles outside the capital after a bomb damaged political offices in Pristina itself.

Flight Lieutenant Tim Serrell-Cooke, a spokesman for the Kosovo force, said three unidentified occupants of a vehicle hurled the grenades into the court in Crkvena Vodica, ignoring warning shots fired in the air by a UN policeman as they sped away. Two men had been questioned and released but told to report back for further interrogation.

Angry villagers stoned a car with Albanians inside that drove through early yesterday, but no injuries were reported. The children were treated in hospital and went home. Parents spoke angrily of the cowardice of the assailants. "If some of us are guilty, let them hit on us, not on our kids," said one woman, whose eight-year-old girl was slightly hurt. Like others, she would not give her name for fear of further attack.

Another blast, attributed to political tensions ahead of local elections in October, damaged a building housing the offices of the Democratic League of Kosovo in the central town of Malisevo. The party is led by pacifist Ibrahim Rugova, symbol of Kosovo Albanian resistance to Serb dominance before 1998. Nobody was hurt in the explosion late on Friday.

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