18 January 2007

Blast damages Serb school in Kosovo, no one injured

Associated Press, Tuesday, November 21, 2006 1:23 PM

PRISTINA, Serbia-An explosion shook an elementary school in the breakaway province of Kosovo early Tuesday, minutes after the classroom was cleared of children, an official said. No one was reported injured in the blast, which police believe was caused by a hand grenade being put in a stove.

The Kosovo Serb school, in the village of Ropotovo, in eastern Kosovo, was damaged, police said.

Three Kosovo Serb men were being questioned about the explosion, police spokesman Veton Elshani said, but no arrests had been made.

"We believe the hand grenade exploded as the stove was heated in the morning hours," Elshani said. Police did not provide an explanation of how the grenade was placed inside the stove.

Police said no warning was given before the blast, but they did not say why the children were moved out of the classroom.

Investigators do not believe the incident was ethnically motivated, citing internal problems with the school management as the motive behind the blast.

Tension has been running high between the minority Serbs and majority ethnic Albanians in Kosovo as the province seeks to sever all ties with Serbia and become an independent state, an option Belgrade is opposed to.