Kosovo police thwart Christmas car bomb

Kosovo authorities said on Friday a potential car bombing was thwarted in Pristina on Christmas day when police stopped a Serbian in a vehicle packed with a large quantity of explosives.

Pristina: Kosovo authorities said on Friday a potential car bombing was thwarted in Pristina on Christmas day when police stopped a Serbian in a vehicle packed with a large quantity of explosives.

Interior Minister Skender Hyseni said in a statement that police had seized more than 12 kilogrammes (26.5 pounds) of explosives yesterday, and noted had they been "detonated in a public place, human casualties would have been enormous."

Police spokesman Baki Kelani told reporters the car was "filled with a huge quantity of explosive material," and was stopped yesterday while being driven through a residential area in the capital that houses many embassies and diplomats.

A high-level police official involved in the probe who asked not to be named told AFP that the explosive "could be ignited remotely," and is "of a type and quantity suitable for the destruction of large objects."

Kosovo's prosecutor has launched a probe into what is being considered a plotted "terrorist attack."

Hyseni said in his statement the car's driver "is a citizen of Serbia...With permanent residence in Belgrade, and (carrying) Belgrade licence plates on his car."

The driver born in 1968 and identified only by the initials SG was immediately arrested, Kelani said.

Police refused to speculate on the intended target.

Local media said a possible target could have been the Catholic cathedral the city centre close the the arrest site, which was packed with hundreds of Christmas day worshippers.  

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