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Macedonia: Interior Minister Ambushed As Peace Talks Continue

Skopje, 30 July 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Peace talks between Macedonian and ethnic Albanian political leaders in the coalition government continue today after an attack on Macedonia's interior minister blamed on ethnic Albanian rebels. No one was injured in the ambush attack last night, but Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski blamed the rebels. He called on the police and the army to secure Macedonia against what he called "terrorists."

Boskovski's convoy was fired at near the village of Grupcin, about 25 kilometers west of Skopje. Boskovski's car managed to evade the gunmen. His guards returned fire in a brief gun battle.

Macedonia's Defense Ministry also said four soldiers were shot and injured near Tetovo when they came under fire from ethnic Albanian rebels.

Peace talks are set to continue today in the southern resort town of Ohrid. Reports say the main obstacle to an agreement is a proposal to make Albanian an official language only in areas where minority ethnic Albanians account for more than 20 percent of the population.