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Serbia: Police Squelch Protests In Kosovo

Pristina/Kosovo; 31 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - Ethnic Albanian news media in Kosovo yesterday reported Serb police beat and detained students demonstrating in several provincial towns for the reopening of Albanian language colleges and universities.

The main Albanian-language Pristina daily, "Bujku," said today that a Serbian police car drove into a crowd of people protesting in the southwestern town of Prizren yesterday, injuring four ethnic Albanian female students, one of them seriously.

In Pec, the local Human Rights Council and the Information Commission of the Democratic League of Kosovo, the mainstream ethnic Albanian party of Ibrahim Rugova, say police beat and detained at least 16 ethnic Albanian students and six lecturers. Most were later released. There was n-o official response to the reports.

In contrast, in Pristina, where some 10,000 to 15,000 students demonstrated yesterday in the presence of foreign diplomats and reporters, riot police refrained from violence.