Nine children wounded in Kosovo grenade attack

PRISTINA, Aug 19, 2000 -- (Reuters) Nine children were injured in a drive-by grenade attack on a Serb enclave in Kosovo on Friday night, the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force said.

The attackers threw two grenades at a basketball court in the Obilic area, north of the capital Pristina, at around 7:50 p.m. (1750 GMT), a spokesman for Kosovo's British-led central military sector said.

"There were nine injuries. I believe they were all children," Flight Lieutenant Tim Serrell-Cooke said. "All of them were minor injuries."

A crowd of around 100 Serbs gathered to protest against the attack in the village of Crkvene Vodice and express anger that KFOR and United Nations police had not prevented it.

Some members of the crowd threw stones, damaging several UN vehicles, a UN official said.

The number of protesters declined later in the night, Serrell-Cooke said.

The wounded children, aged between five and 15, were taken to hospital for treatment but then allowed home for the night, U.N. officials said. Some were likely to return for more treatment on Saturday.

The attack came on the same day as a bomb blast at a building in central Pristina which houses the offices of Serbian authorities and political parties of different ethnic groups. Two people were slightly hurt in that attack.

International authorities took over responsibility for Kosovo in June last year after NATO's bombing campaign to end Serb repression of the province's ethnic Albanian majority.

Since then, however, NATO and the UN have struggled to cope with continuing violence, some of it between ethnic groups and some inflicted by criminals on their own communities.

Original article