The speaker of Kosovo's parliament is demanding Serbia release 10 men
accused of war crimes carried out by ethnic Albanian guerrillas.
Jakup Krasniqi condemned the arrests Saturday and said the Serbian action was meant to provoke the not yet year-old country.
police arrested the men Friday after searching the southern town of
Presevo, a predominantly ethnic Albanian area. Serbian officials say
the 10 had been members of the Kosovo Liberation Army and committed war
crimes during the Kosovo conflict.
Serbia's Interior Minister
Ivica Dacic says Saturday the arrests do present a security risk and acknowledged the possibility of some retaliation. Serbian officials
have said the arrests were carried out on the orders of the war crimes
Spokesman for Serbia's war crimes prosecutor
Vladimir Vukcevic said the men are accused of killing at least 51
civilians and abducting 159 more between June and October of 1999.
spokesman says they are also accused of torturing, looting and raping
both Serb and non-Serb civilians in the eastern Kosovo municipality of
Gnjilane, near the border with Serbia.
The sole ethnic Albanian
member of Serbia's parliament, Riza Halimi, expressed surprise at the
arrests and said they would do little to contribute to the stability of
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.