An explosion detonated Tuesday morning as Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova's convoy passed through central Pristina. The explosion occurred close to a government building just after 0720GMT. At least one vehicle in the president's convoy was damaged in the blast. An Associated Press reporter saw the president being transferred from one car to another after the blast. Rugova appeared to be unharmed. The car sped away. A police officer at the scene told that the explosion appeared to have been caused by a remote controlled explosive device. The windows of nearby shops were shattered and small metal garbage bin at the roadside was shredded by the blast the bomb appeared to have been placed inside the bin. Shards of glass lay scattered in the street. At least one person was injured by flying glass, police spokeswoman Sabrije Kamberi said. Rugova was heading toward a nearby government building for a meeting with European Union's foreign policy chief Javier Solana when the blast detonated. Police together with Italian Carabinieri sealed off the site. Rugova, a pacifist leader, was elected Kosovo's president in 2002. He was re-elected in the post again in December last year when his party formed a coalition with the much smaller Alliance for the Future of Kosovo of former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj. Haradinaj resigned last week following war crimes indictment by a U.N. war crimes court in The Hague, Netherlands for wartime atrocities allegedly committed against Serbs, Albanians and Gypsy civilians during the province's 1998-1999 war against Serb forces. Haradinaj pleaded not guilty Monday to 37 counts of war crimes. Kosovo has been administered by the United Nations since 1999 following a NATO war aimed at stopping the crackdown of Serb forces on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians. Last year, on March 12 a hand grenade was hurled at Rugova's residence from a passing vehicle. That grenade exploded in the garden some three meters (yards) away from the house. Rugova and his family were not hurt in that explosion. No one was ever caught in connection with that blast. Associated Press
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