Kosovo blast kills policeman during drug operation

A policeman in Kosovo was killed and his colleague and a child were wounded in a blast during a drug search operation, police said Wednesday.

The blast of an unidentified explosive device happened late Tuesday during the operation conducted by an anti-drug unit at a family home in Zhur, a village in southern Kosovo, a police spokesman said.

“Unfortunately, one of our colleagues … lost his life,” spokesman Shaban Osmanolla told reporters.

The victim came into contact with the device which had been placed in a storeroom.

A 12-year-old child, a member of the family whose house was searched, was also wounded in the explosion, the spokesman said.

The second policeman, who sustained life-threatening injuries, was hospitalised in the capital Pristina, health authorities said.

The owner of the house where the blast occurred was detained.

He was previously suspected of possessing drugs and weapons which prompted the search of his home, police said.

Police declined to say immediately whether they had seized anything during the search.

Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008, is a key staging post on the Balkans route used by criminals to smuggle drugs, weapons and people to western Europe.