Serb dies in grenade blast as ethnic Albanians step up revenge attacks

A SERB man was killed in a grenade attack on a village in south- eastern Kosovo, Nato said yesterday as ethnic Albanians intensified their series of attacks on Serbs who stayed.

Peacekeepers around the Serb village of Pasjane, which was struck on Sunday by grenades launched from a nearby ethnic Albanian village, set up a ring of checkpoints within minutes of the attack, said Major Ole Irgens.

Four men from the Albanian village, Vlastica, were arrested and are under investigation, the major said. The Belgrade-based independent radio B2-92, said another Serb man was also arrested, apparently for protesting about the attack.

Yugoslavia's state-run Tanjug news agency, identified the victim as 65-year-old Dusko Trifunovic, who died later from multiple shrapnel wounds. UN police said a gypsy was also found dead near Beleg village in western Kosovo. He had been shot several times. Gypsies have also been targeted in revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians.

In Belgrade, Serbia's opposition struggling to oust President Slobodan Milosevic and demanding early elections, plans to bring the issue to the country's parliament today.

Both wings of the divided opposition will call for early polls as the Serbian assembly meets for the first time in three months to discuss a government reshuffle and other issues.

But Democratic party head Zoran Djindjic said: "There is no chance that he calls elections out of the blue just because opposition parties, which do not share power, ask him to do so."

The Serbian Renewal Movement of Vuk Draskovic, the only opposition party with a significant number of deputies, has said it will submit its request at the session itself.

The chances of parliament, with the ruling coalition controlling 191 seats out of 250, agreeing even to put the demand on its agenda are slim. Parliamentary elections in Serbia, Yugoslavia's dominant republic, are not due until 2001.