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Cyprus peace talks start, UN says
Updated: 2004-02-19 16:29

Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders formally began fresh peace talks Thursday, just hours after a small blast damaged the home of the pro-reunification prime minister of the island's Turkish enclave.

The talks, under the control of United Nations envoy Alvaro de Soto, a Peruvian who brokered peace accords which ended civil strife in El Salvador, aim to unite the Mediterranean island's Greek and Turkish communities before it joins the European Union on May 1.

"The talks have started," U.N. spokesman Brian Kelly said in Nicosia.

The early morning percussion grenade or "sound bomb" outside Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat's home shattered windows and damaged the main door of his house but nobody was hurt, Talat's party said in a statement.

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