[Marxism] Unrest Spreads in Kosovo

Tony Abdo gojack10 at hotmail.com
Sat Apr 17 19:44:18 MDT 2004


Iraq Said Spark for UN Kosovo Police Fight, 3 Die
Sat Apr 17
By Shaban Buza

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Serbia and Montenegro (Reuters) - Two Americans and a 
Jordanian were shot dead in Kosovo Saturday when emotions over Iraq 
apparently boiled over into a gunbattle between members of the U.N. law 
enforcement mission.

U.N. police spokesman Neeraj Singh said two U.S. police officers and a 
Jordanian were killed and 10 Americans and one Austrian wounded in the 
shooting.

The lethal firefight between fellow members of the U.N. force was 
unprecedented in five years of peacekeeping in Kosovo, where police of some 
30 nations make up the international force of around 3,500.

The 10-minute shootout took place in the U.N. compound in ethnically divided 
Mitrovica -- a city that is more commonly the scene of clashes between Serbs 
and Albanians, in which U.N. police and NATO  troops intervene to keep the 
peace.

Initial reports that the shooting centered on a detention center in the 
compound were inaccurate. But the U.N. said the dead and wounded included 
both police and prison staff.

The deputy head of the Serb hospital in Mitrovica, Milan Ivanovic, said one 
of the dead was an American woman, who was hit along with four female U.S. 
police colleagues.

U.N. police sources said four Jordanian police officers had been arrested in 
connection with the shooting, but could give no further details on the 
cause.

A police source said it began with a row over Iraq. Singh said the U.N. was 
still investigating the possible motive.

The multinational U.N. police force is backed by the NATO-led KFOR military 
mission numbering about 20,000 troops.

SECOND SHOCK IN A MONTH
"I am deeply shocked and dismayed at the unfortunate death of dedicated 
professionals who have come such a great distance to help Kosovo on its road 
to the future," the province's U.N. governor Harri Holkeri said in a 
statement.

U.N. Police Commissioner Stefan Feller said he was "saddened at this tragic 
incident" and promised a thorough investigation.

There had been no visible sign of serious strain between Western and Arab or 
Christian and Muslim members of the peace mission. An international source 
said the spark that caused the shooting might turn out not to be connected 
with Iraq.

"This attack was organized," a U.S. policeman guarding the wounded at 
Mitrovica hospital told Reuters. "I'm sorry that none of the services was 
able to prevent it..." he added, without elaborating on who might have 
organized an attack, or why.

It was the second major jolt to the international peace mission in Kosovo in 
a month. In mid-March, Albanians rioted against the Serb minority after the 
drowning of three Albanian boys, setting fire to nearly 300 homes and two 
dozen churches.

The U.N. and NATO, which later said the riots had been orchestrated by 
Albanian extremists bent on expelling the remaining Serbs, said 19 people 
were killed, some shot in clashes with the peacekeepers.

The international community in Kosovo has for some time feared a backlash by 
Albanians determined to press their demand for independence five years after 
NATO drove Serb forces from the province

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