PRISTINA — Saturday, 5 June 2004 — A Serb teenager was shot and killed today in a drive-by shooting just outside Pristina.
Witnesses told police shots were fired from a white vehicle killing the 16-year-old, Dimitrije Popovic, a spokesman for the UN police told AFP.
Kent Stica said Kosovo’s police force set up checkpoints soon after the shooting and spotted a suspicious vehicle which was then stopped and the occupants arrested.
“Two males were arrested and the vehicle seized in Pristina,” Stica said, without disclosing the identities or the nationality of the suspects.
A UN police spokesman in charge of the capital Pristina however said the two arrested were ethnic Albanians.
“They are both ethnic Albanians,” Malcolm Ashby told AFP.
He said police seized two weapons suspected of having been used in the shooting.
Police said the road towards Gracanica, where the shooting occurred, was blocked off by local and UN police and would remain closed until Monday as NATO-led peacekeepers and local police stepped up patrols in the area.
Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian president, Ibrahim Rugova expressed his condolences to the family of slain boy and called upon the authorities to rapidly bring the perpetrators to justice.
The outgoing chief UN administrator, Harri Holkeri condemned the shooting and called upon Kosovo’s people to renounce violence.
“Is that what the people of Kosovo really want? No, it can not be true,” Holkeri, who on May 25 said he was stepping down from his post for health reasons, told journalists at Pristina airport.
A similar shooting in March had sent hundreds of Serbs protesting in the streets of Gracanica blocking the road for several days, irking ethnic Albanians who attempted to break through police barricades into the Serb-inhabited enclave.
The March violence left 19 dead and over 900 injured and pitted the two sides into deeper mistrust nearly sinking the United Nations’ five-year efforts to reconcile the two ethnic groups.
Kosovo has been under UN and NATO control since June 1999.