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Violence at Kostunica Kosovo rally

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Thursday -- About a hundred supporters of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic today pelted opposition presidential candidate Vojislav Kostunica with rocks and bottles as he spoke at a campaign rally in Kosovska Mitrovica this afternoon. Kostunica was hit below the right eye with a stone as he addressed the crowd, appealing with them not to allow Milosevic to turn Serbs against Serbs. "He has betrayed you," said Kostunica, describing the Serbian president as the greatest traitor of the Serbian people.

Tension ran high at the rally as about a thousand Serbian opposition supporters waited for Kostunica to arrive. A heavy contingent of KFOR troops kept the small group of Socialist Party members separate from the main rally.

The tension was further fuelled by Kostunica's late arrival. The opposition candidate was detained by a KFOR border patrol this morning as he attempted to cross into the province at the Jerinje checkpoint. The president of the Kosovska Mitrovica branch of the Democratic Party of Serbia told Radio B2-92 that Kostunica was detained at the border crossing for an hour and a half.

Survey results released today show that Kostunica his increased his lead over Milosevic by another five percentage points since last month. The poll results, by the Belgrade Social Sciences Institute puts the number of voters who would vote for the opposition candidate at 40 per cent, with just 22 per cent saying they would vote for Milosevic, one percentage point down from August. The Serbian Renewal Movement's Vojislav Mihailovic and the Serbian Radical Party's Tomislav Nikolic are favoured by just three and four per cent of voters respectively. The number of undecided voters has also risen three percentage points to 22 per cent. Nine per cent say they will not vote.

Source: B92

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