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Kosovo Albanian Politician Hurt in Shooting

December 17, 2000|From Reuters

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia — A senior member of a Kosovo Albanian party was wounded in a drive-by shooting, the latest in a series of attacks on officials of the moderate group, U.N. police said Saturday.

The man, a member of the Democratic League of Kosovo, or LDK, led by veteran ethnic Albanian politician Ibrahim Rugova, was shot Friday afternoon, said U.N. police spokesman Dmitry Kaportsev.

"He was shot and wounded in the left shoulder, as he drove in his car, by an unknown person who shot at him from a vehicle," Kaportsev said. "His condition was reported to be serious but stable."

An LDK official identified the victim as Fetah Rudi, head of the party branch in the town of Malisevo and a former member of the now-disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army, which fought Serbian rule from 1998 to 1999. Kosovo is a province of Serbia, the main Yugoslav republic.

"Yesterday's attack against Fetah Rudi . . . is a continuation of the political acts of violence against LDK members and their work for an independent Kosovo," said party Vice President Naim Jerliu.

"This is also an attack against our efforts to create a stable and secure environment in the country and for the future of Kosovo," he said.

He called on the United Nations and international peacekeepers to find and arrest perpetrators of such crimes.

The shooting took place as Rudi was returning from the provincial capital, Pristina.

It came a few weeks after the U.N.-led Kosovo administration said it would help provide increased security for moderate political leaders after recent attacks.

At least four other LDK officials have been shot in recent months.

International officials had feared an outbreak of politically motivated violence after Kosovo's first postwar elections Oct. 28, which were won by Rugova's party.

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