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Two Arrested After Kosovo Explosion

December 11, 2000

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Yugoslavia (AP) _ NATO peacekeepers arrested two ethnic Albanians after an explosion early Monday in Kosovo’s tensest city, a NATO spokesman said. No one was injured.

The blast _ most likely caused by a hand grenade _ went off in the front yard of a Serb cafe in an ethnically mixed neighborhood of the northern city of Kosovska Mitrovica shortly before 1 a.m.

It left a crater some 20 inches across and was followed by several machine-gun bursts, said NATO spokesman Col. Yves Kermorvant.

The neighborhood consists of 92 Albanian and 116 Serb homes and has several hundred inhabitants.

Kermorvant said NATO arrested two ethnic Albanians after a sniper rifle, a gun, hand grenade and flack jacket were found at one ethnic Albanian home.

The Serb cafe owner, Nebojsa Maric, said the attack was a ``deliberate, synchronized conspiracy″ by his ethnic Albanian neighbors, whom he accused of trying to force him out of the NATO-run province. Maric had reported an earlier, similar attack.

Also Monday, one Kosovo Serb was killed and another was seriously wounded in a land mine explosion near the Kosovo village of Suvo Grlo, 12 miles west of Kosovska Mitrovica.

Srdjan Tomasevic, 19, was killed and his cousin Stevan Tomasevic, also 19, was wounded when their vehicle hit an anti-tank land mine, Serb officials said. Stevan Tomasevic was rushed to the Spanish military hospital in Istok.

Ethnic Serbs from the villages of Suvo Grlo and Banja staged a protest after the incident, demanding better protection from NATO-led peacekeepers.

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