Monday, September 24, 2007

Two Dead in Pristina Explosion

Two people have been killed and 10-11 people injured early this morning (0210 CET) in a large explosion on Bill Clinton Boulevard in downtown Pristina.  Several restaurants and cafes in the area were still open with customers when the blast occurred.  The blast happened at the Sekiraqa restaurant, which looks to be in almost the same location as a previous explosion a couple years ago that blew out the windows of several businesses in the area.  The one block section where the explosion happened is closed off to traffic as the investigation continues. 
In another tragic event, two people were killed and five were injured when a passenger vehicle collided with a tractor near the village of Prilep on Saturday (22 Sept).  Tractor traffic is common on the roadways in Kosovo giving headaches to other drivers due to the slow moving traffic but when the sun goes down, the traffic is quite dangerous as in this case, the tractor had no head or taillights.  It is believed that the vehicle slammed into the back of the tractor as it was not visible in the darkness.

Kosovo students are protesting a ban on headscarves and three students were expelled from local schools last week.  The argument over secular states and religious rights has carried over from Western Europe to Kosovo particularly since some believe that being seen as overly Islamic could damage the province's bid for independence.

In a rare instance of cooperation between Kosovo and Serbian authorities, a Kosovo Albanian arms dealer with ties to suspected extremist groups has been arrested.  Serbian authorities issued a request for assistance to Kosovo police in stopping the sale of weapons to groups in Serbia's southern borders with Kosovo.  The suspect was arrested in Mitrovica by KPS officers and is being held on illegal sales of weapons.  The Sandzak area of Serbia is thought to be one of the new breeding grounds for what has been dubbed "white al-Queda", the term for European Muslims who are being recruited into extremist groups.

Regarding the question of Kosovo's Status...the commander of KFOR has said during a press conference that he does not believe that Kosovo's status will be decided in 2007.  Stating "Everyone in Kosovo was speaking in February 2006 about independence by July. Today we are in 2007 and still with a big question mark ahead of us", the commander added that KFOR is ready for any threats.  Then China's Foreign Minister has said while visiting Belgrade that his country respects the UN charter and supports the talks between Kosovo and Serbia, a statement welcomed by Belgrade.

MTCowgirl's Kosovo News Update...
So okay, everyone has their different opinions but you can't just ignore what other people say or respond "you're stupid" (really, folks, that's not a convincing argument!).  You have to read everything you can to get a better grasp of the situation.  Sure some of these articles are inflammatory and far from being partial, but this is someone's point of view and other people are reading to share some unique points of view, here are what I dub, MTCowgirl's Interesting Articles...