CEOL - UN police arrest Albanian Kosovar over killing of Serb

PRISTINA, Serbia, Dec 27, 1999 -- (AFP) U.N. police have arrested an Albanian Kosovar in connection with the murder of a Serb man and the beating of his wife and mother-in-law in Pristina, police said Monday.

A 27-year-old suspect was arrested on December 22 after a tip-off to police investigating the November 29 murder of a Serb university professor who was pulled from his car and shot during celebrations for ethnic Albanian's Flag Day.

The man's wife and mother-in-law were beaten, and injured by firecrackers that were forced into their mouths.

Police and members of the NATO-led KFOR in Kosovo had sought witnesses criticizing a "law of silence" among ethnic Albanians over crimes against Serbs in the province.

KFOR spokesman Roland Lavoie said the incident took place in front of hundreds of onlookers but "nobody dared to intervene" as the three were pulled from the vehicle.

"Things are changing slowly, and the local population is starting to work with us," a UN police spokesman told AFP, before adding that the enquiry continued to search for others involved in the killing.

Flag Day marks Albanian independence from Ottoman rule in 1912 and the first official appearance of rebel Kosovo fighters in 1997, while the southern Serb province was still under the control of the Belgrade regime.

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