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01 March 2024

Firefighters hurt in Kosovo blast: police

Seven firefighters were injured in one of two explosions that shook the ethnically divided city in the north of Kosovo overnight, police said Saturday.

The first explosion – after 10.00am on Friday near a cafe in the northern half of Kosovska Mitrovica – damaged several cars but caused no injuries, police spokesman Besim Hoti told AFP.

The second occurred shortly after midnight when an explosive device was apparently thrown at the firefighters, who were battling a fire apparently set by 15 to 20 Serbs in the Bosnjacka Mahala district of the city, he said.

Serbs, a minority in Kosovo, make up the majority in the neighbourhood, where a number of ethnic Albanians also live.

Last Tuesday, a young Serb was stabbed in Kosovska Mitrovica. His life now is out of danger, and two ethnic Albanians arrested in connection with the incident have been released after questioning.

Kosovska Mitrovica remains deeply split between Serbs and ethnic Albanians, nearly a year after Kosovo – under UN administration since a 1999 NATO air war wrested control of the province from Serbia – declared independence.