Investigative journalist attacked in Kosovo

PRISTINA (Reuters) - A Kosovo journalist known for his investigative stories on corruption and crime was beaten in a crowded café bar in central Pristina on Friday.

Vehbi Kajtazi runs the news website Insajderi that has become one of the must trusted online media for its investigative reporting into allegations of corruption and crime among Kosovo’s top officials.

Local media have shown photos of him with blood on the forehead.

The Kajtazi attack came just two months after the other Insajderi editor, Parim Olluri, was beaten up in the late evening as he was going home with his fiancée.

“I have identified the attacker and he attacked me because of the stories that I write,” Kajtazi told Reuters.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, nearly a decade after NATO mounted air strikes to drive out Serb forces and halt the killing and ethnic cleansing of Albanians in a two-year Serb counter-insurgency campaign.

“It is really unfortunate that journalists in Kosovo are still being physically attacked. Totally unacceptable in a democratic society,” the U.S. ambassador to Kosovo Greg Delawie wrote on Twitter.

Human rights organization Freedom House said in its 2017 report that the media in Kosovo is “partly free”. Threats against reporters have increased in recent years.

Reporting by Fatos Bytyci Editing by Jeremy Gaunt