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When Leka was one day old, his father held a great military parade in the capital, Tirana, a great provocation to the Duce in Rome.Kosovo will tomorrow hold its first face-to-face talks with Serbia since declaring independence three years ago after insurgency and ethnic cleansing left 10,000 people dead and drove hundreds of thousands from their homes.
Leka of Albania was one of the most colourful and controversial characters on the 20th century Balkan scene, and one of the last links with the pre-Second World War Zogist monarchy.
He was born in 1939 into a world of deep political crisis, with the government of his father, King Zog, Albania's first king, about to be snuffed out by Mussolini's forces.
Kosovo's Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi headed a mafia-style organised crime ring in the late 1990s that engaged in assassinations, beatings, organ trafficking and other crimes, says a draft report released yesterday.
Nato has put the northern Kosovo town of Mitrovica under de facto military law after rioting by Serbs hostile to the newly independent state left one UN policeman dead and forced the withdrawal of UN staff.
Hundreds of UN police and Nato troops came under fire from Serb protesters yesterday in the worst violence since Kosovo declared independence a month ago.