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Kosovo prime minister's home attacked; suspect shot

Armed assailants trying to break into the home of Kosovo Prime Minister Hashim Thaci exchanged fire with guards, but the leader was away and his family was not hurt, police said Saturday.

Police later said they had arrested a 19-year-old ethnic Albanian man. They said they found the suspect, already known to authorities, after a tip from his father.

The teen has a wound to his arm, leading police to believe he was shot in a shootout with Thaci's security guards.

Thaci condemned the assault and urged Kosovo's citizens to remain calm.

“Last night my family was attacked,” he told reporters in the capital, Pristina. “Like any parent and husband, I am happy that my family is safe.”

“No one will have the power to threaten independence, democratic order, rule of law, the freedom and security of the citizen of the Republic of Kosovo,” Thaci said.

Police said the teenager told investigators he did not know he was breaking into the prime minister's house and that he had only wanted to steal something.

Police said Thaci's security guards spotted someone trying to break into the two-story house from the top-floor balcony. They exchanged fire with an unknown number of assailants, who did not get inside. The attackers escaped, but at least one was believed wounded because traces of blood were found.

Thaci, the former political head of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian rebels, the Kosovo Liberation Army, is regarded as the key figure in pushing for Kosovo's independence from Serbia. Kosovo declared independence Feb. 17 after close coordination with Western capitals. The declaration is fiercely opposed by Serbia.

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