Hand grenade thrown at Kosovo state TV chief's home - police

  • World
  • Monday, 29 Aug 2016

PRISTINA (Reuters) - A hand grenade was thrown at the home of the head of Kosovo's state broadcaster RTK, police said on Monday, the second incident in a week to target the TV channel or its executives.

Police said in a statement that no injuries were reported and no perpetrator found following the incident in a suburb of the capital Pristina at around 10 p.m. on Sunday.

"It was a powerful explosion which shocked the entire neighbourhood," said RTK director Mentor Shala, who owns the house. "We (the family) were all inside but luckily no one was injured."

On Aug. 22, a hand grenade was thrown into the courtyard of RTK's headquarters in Pristina, causing slight damage to transmitters. That attack was claimed by an activist group opposing a planned border deal with Montenegro that parliament is due to debate on Thursday.

Kosovo is facing its worst political crisis since it declared independence in 2008 as opposition groups protest against the border deal and an EU-brokered accord with Serbia that would give more autonomy to Serb-held areas of the country.

Opposition deputies have released teargas in the country's parliament several times since last October while police have used teargas to disperse violent demonstrations against the two deals on the streets of Pristina.

Parliament is due to vote on Sept. 1 on the deal with Montenegro which will fix the undefined border between the two countries of former Yugoslavia but which opposition parties say will cost Kosovo some 8,200 hectares of land.

The government rejects that claim and says the border deal is a key condition for its citizens to eventually benefit from a visa-free travel regime with the European Union that neighbours including Montenegro and Serbia obtained in 2010.

Landlocked Kosovo, most of whose 1.8 million citizens are ethnic Albanian, declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but is not recognised by Belgrade.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Ivana Sekularac and Catherine Evans)

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