Explosion hits Kosovo capital; some injured

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PRISTINA, Serbia, Sep 24 (Reuters) An explosion tore through shops on a central street in the Kosovo capital Pristina in the early hours of today and ambulances rushed to the scene, a Reuters witness said.

A police spokesman said some people had been injured but no one killed.

Police cleared people from the scene of the blast, which scattered glass and debris from a dozen shops across the broad pavement running down Bill Clinton Boulevard.

It was not known what caused the explosion, which comes amid rising tension within Kosovo's 90-per cent ethnic Albanian majority over its stalled bid for independence from Serbia.

The territory has been run by the United Nations and patrolled by NATO since 1999, when NATO bombs drove out Serbian forces to halt atrocities against ethnic Albanians in a two-year war between Belgrade's troops and separatist guerrillas.

Leaders of Serbia and Kosovo are due to hold direct negotiations on the territory's fate at the United Nations in New York on Friday.

REUTERS AK PM0630

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