Kosovo man held on terror charges
May 29, 2003
PRISTINA, Kosovo — International police are holding a 23-year-old Kosovo man on a warrant issued by a local judge on charges of terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder.
Police arrested the ethnic Albanian in the Mitrovica region around noon Monday.
Derek Chappell, spokesman for U.N. police here, said he could release no further information on the man’s identity or the crime in question because of the “the nature of the investigation.”
Mitrovica is known as an ethnic tinderbox, home to considerable populations of both Serbs and Albanians. Local media have assumed that the arrest is in connection to the April 11 bombing of a railway bridge in the Mitrovica area, though a police official privately confided that the cases are unrelated.
That April blast killed two men believed to have been wiring the bridge for detonation. Both were former members of the Kosovo Liberation Army, which was officially disbanded after the 1999 war. One of the dead was also believed to be a fire brigade commander with the TMK, known as the Kosovo Protection Corps in English. The group is the successor to the KLA and was ostensibly formed as a civil protection service.
On April 22, police arrested another TMK member, a public affairs officer or group spokesman, they believe to be directly involved in the bombing.
The bridge was damaged, but not destroyed.
Police believe the bombing to be the work of the Albanian National Army, a guerrilla group devoted to reigniting fighting between Macedonians and ethnic Albanians.
The bridge was part of a railway linking Serbia proper, through Kosovo, to Macedonia.