Gracanica, 24 December 2007 – An unidentified assailant threw a explosive device at an apartment owned by a Kosovo Serb in the predominantly ethnic Albanian Obilic municipality, a police statement said Monday.
There were no injuries in the blast that seriously damaged the flat owned by Robert Savic, a Serb. Savic who was in bed at the time, told Balkan Insight the explosion shattered windows and broken glass littered the ground floor apartment.
Police were investigating and no arrests were made in connection with the incident, Kosovo Police spokesman Arben Beka told Balkan Insight. He said that the device used was ‘probably a hand grenade.’
Moderate Kosovo Serb politician Momcilo Trajkovic condemned the incident. He said ‘Kosovo (authorities) are inept at dealing with serious problems… The question is how officials in Pristina think they will manage an independent country when they can’t provide security for the Serb community.’
Around 100,000 Serbs currently live in Kosovo. Half of them live in the four municipalities bordering Serbia north of the river Ibar. The remainder live in scattered enclaves throughout the province. Serbs in the enclaves have little freedom of movement and are under constant protection from NATO peacekeepers.
Tensions are high in Kosovo following the end of internationally-sponsored talks over the province’s long-term future. Ethnic Albanian majority backed by the United States and their Western allies want full independence from Serbia.
The government in Belgrade which enjoys support from Russia, is offering Kosovo broad autonomy within Serbia’s borders.
Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations since 1999, when NATO bombed the now-defunct Yugoslavia, to end what it said was the ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians by Yugoslav troops.
Fearing reprisal attacks by ethnic Albanian extremists, more than 200,000 Serbs and other minorities have fled Kosovo since 1999, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.