Peace-keepers in Kosovo attacked

A RUSSIAN peacekeeper was wounded in southeastern Kosovo last night, in one of several attacks against US, Russian, and German peacekeeping troops in Kosovo.

A spokesman for the Nato-led Kosovo peacekeeping force K-For said the Russian peacekeeper was shot in the left thigh by unknown assailants while manning a checkpoint in the US sector in southeastern Kosovo. Major Jan Joosten said the soldier was resting comfortably in a US army hospital. Major Joosten said three Russian checkpoints in the area had come under small-arms fire. The Russians shot back at the assailants, but no one was detained.

"K-For is very concerned about the current attacks against the soldiers and people should be reminded that our soldiers have robust rules of engagement and the right to defend themselves,'' Joosten said yesterday in the provincial capital Pristina.

To date there have been at least 30 incidents in which K-For forces have come under hostile fire. Russian peacekeepers, who Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority considers sympathetic to fellow Orthodox Christian Serbs, have been the target of many of the attacks.

Following the overnight attacks, some 3,000 ethnic Albanians protested over the presence of Russian troops in the town of Kosovska Kamenica, in what they said was the 14th day of their protests. Similar protests by Albanians against the deployment of Russian troops have occurred in the southwestern Kosovo city of Orahovac.

The area of the attacks against the Russian troops, in villages around the southeastern Kosovo city of Gnjilane, has been particularly tense. Some 10,000 Serbs remain in the Gnjilane area, more than elsewhere in Kosovo, which has seen more than three-quarters of its Serb population flee.

The United Nations refugee agency reported earlier this week that dozens of formerly ethnically-mixed villages in the area are on the way to becoming villages divided into ethnically pure enclaves - Serbs moving to some areas, Albanians to others.

The Russian peacekeepers have not been the only target of the attacks. On Thursday, US K-For soldiers protecting a Serbian house in the southeastern town of Urosevac also came under fire, and German troops arrested eight ethnic Albanians in the southwestern city of Prizren, after shots were fired above a K-For checkpoint. In Belgrade, meanwhile, President Milosevic denounced his opponents at home in his first comments after a month of protest. He called the demonstrations an "extended hand of evil" of a Western attempt "to undermine our stability".

Speaking at a convention of emigre Serbs and Montenegrins, Mr Milosevic said the ongoing rallies across Serbia, organised by opposition parties demanding his resignation, would not triumph. "We will not give in to pressures ... by which Nato, through various corrupt politicians is trying to undermine our stability," Mr Milosevic said. He also condemned Nato peacekeepers for "not carrying out their responsibility to protect all citizens in Kosovo." More than 150,000 Serbs have fled the province.

Kim Sengupta, Review page4

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Disruption at Waterloo after a person was hit by a train
newsCancellations and disrupted service after person hit by train
Arts and Entertainment
music
Arts and Entertainment
The almost deserted Liverpool Echo Arena on Monday
tvCan X Factor last in the face of plummeting numbers auditioning
News
Kirsty Bertarelli is launching a singing career with an album of songs detailing her observations of “real life”
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence