Ethnic Violence Raged in Kosovo

( [email protected] ) Mar 18, 2004 11:16 AM EST

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Serbia-Montenegro – Ethnic hatred led to brutal violence of gun firing and grenades Wednesday killing eight and leaving more than 300 injured in Kosovo. The ethnic tension between the Albanians and Serbs led to protests in every city in the province, ended up being the worst bloodshed between the two ethnic groups since the end of the Kosovo war in 1999. The cause of the violence was a rumor spreading that the Serbs drowned two Albanian boys.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan condemned the violence, saying it "jeopardizes the stability of Kosovo and the security of all its people," according to a U.N. spokesman.

The United States called on Kosovo's political leaders to use their influence to restore calm. "The escalating violence must end," the State Department said. "It threatens the process of democratization and reconciliation in Kosovo, and threatens the very future of Kosovo."

According to the Associated Press, with Orthodox Christian Serbs regarding Kosovo as their ancient homeland and mostly Muslim ethnic Albanians seeking independence, hatred between the two continues, with each act of bloodshed have been leading to revenge from the other side.