27 August 2006

Mitrovica Victims in Stable Condition, Raskovic-Ivic Condemns Attacks; Faults Influence of Ahtisaari's Comments

Nine persons wounded in bomb attack in Mitrovica in stable condition
http://www.rts.co.yu/Radio Television Serbia, BelgradeSunday, August 27, 2006 13:54
Nine people were injured in a hand grenade explosion on Saturday at about 7:00 p.m. in the garden patio of the Dolce Vita cafe in Kosovska Mitrovica near the Ibar River bridge, among them one UNMIK policeman. According to our reporter on the scene the wounded are in stable condition. Six people have been detained for treatment in the Department of Surgery of Kosovska Mitrovica Hospital, two have been released, and the international policeman has been transferred to a KFOR military hospital at the request of UNMIK.
The injured are Sasa Gvozdic, Jelena Mirkovic, Bojan Bojovic, Pavle Zdravkovic, Kemal Vranes, Katarina Devdic, Jovan Kragovic and Batric Vulikic. At the time of the attack there were about 20 people in the Dolce Vita cafe.
This morning the situation is calm although Mitrovica residents are visibly disturbed by last night's incident. This morning there are no Kosovo Police Service or KFOR reinforcements on the bridge separating the northern and southern parts of Kosovska Mitrovica. The citizens of northern Mitrovica have organized themselves and as of last night have guards in position to protect them from unwanted and aggressive guests representing a threat to their lives.
According to eyewitness testimony, the hand grenade was lobbed at the cafe by a young man who crossed the bridge from the southern, Albanian inhabited part of town. The Kosovo Police Service has advised that the attacker has arrested but did not reveal his identity. News agencies report that he is 16 year-old ethnic Albanian Adem Dibrani, who was arrested upon returning to the southern part of town only after a strong reaction from gathered Serbs.

Serbs demand bridge closing during Kosovo status negotiations
http://www.rts.co.yu/Radio Television Serbia, BelgradeSunday, August 27, 2006 14:50
Representatives of the Serb National Council of Northern Kosovo have demanded that international authorities in the province close the bridge over the Ibar River, which separates the town into Serb and Albanian parts, until negotiations on the status are concluded, and called on citizens to remain calm and not to panic "which is obviously what someone wants".
Speaking at a SNC press conference, Belgrade negotiating team member Marko Jaksic stated that the most recent tossing of a grenade at a cafe in the northern part of Mitrovica and the wounding of nine people is the consequence of statements by Kosovo status envoy Martti Ahtisaari and newly appointed UNMIK chief Joachim Ruecker that the Serbs as a people are guilty and that Kosovo independence is on the horizon.
"By their irresponsible behavior and cover up of crimes UNMIK and KFOR are encouraging Albanians to commit them. In just six months over 70 attacks on Serbs have been recorded which are, for the most part, classified as public disturbances and criminal acts," said Jaksic.
Nebojsa Jovic, the president of the SNC of North Kosovo, has demanded that UNMIK, KFOR and the Kosovo police explain "why the name of last night's attacker was not publicized when it is general knowledge that he is (ethnic
Albanian) Agron Dibrani", claiming that "all the members of his family are known terrorists."
Jovic explained that the closing of the bridge on the Ibar River has been requested in order to ensure the safety of Serbs in the northern part of Mitrovica.
Coordinating Center: Grenade tossed immediately following Ahtisaari's statement on Serb guilt
The Serbian Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija sharply condemned the bomb attack in Kosovska Mitrovica and accused the international community of being responsible "at least as much as the Albanian terrorists" for "Albanian crimes against Serbs".
"In the last few days Albanian terrorists in Kosovo and Metohija have been encouraged by statements by senior representatives of the United Nations and they have intensified their murderous actions directed against Serbs," said the Coordinating Center in a written statement.
The Coordinating Center that "only circumstance" prevented great casualties "from a bomb calmly carried across the Ibar River bridge by a terrorist and, despite the Kosovo Police Service, UNMIK and KFOR, tossed at a nearby cafe".
The Coordinating Center's communiqué notes that the grenade was tossed "immediately following Ahtisaari's statement regarding Serb guilt". "The international community is at least as responsible for Albanian crimes against Serbs, which are assuming an ever greater and worrisome scale, as the Albanian terrorists," said the Coordinating Center.
"It has not stopped, arrested or sentenced them in the past, and now Ahtisaari is further encouraging them," concluded the communiqué.
President Tadic most sharply condemns the bomb attack
http://www.rts.co.yu/Radio Television Serbia, BelgradeSunday, August 27, 2006 14:50
Serbian president Boris Tadic most sharply condemned the grenade attack in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica in which several innocent people were hurt, advised the Serbian president's press service.
Tadic spoke with Oliver Ivanovic and the head of the district of Kosovska Mitrovica Momir Kasalovic about the situation in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica, and they advised him regarding the medical condition of the injured.
The Serbian president also spoke by telephone by acting UNMIK chief Steven Schook about the situation after the bomb attack in the northern part of Kosovska Mitrovica.
According to sources in the president's cabinet, Schook "offered every assurance that KFOR and UNMIK would undertake all necessary security measures" and he told Tadic he will be receiving "regular reports regarding the newly created situation".
The Serbian president believes the grenade attack to be an act of terrorism and is demanding that the international community react most energetically and punish the perpetrators.