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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 01:37 GMT
UN police come under attack
UN forces in Kosovo
K-For has taken on a policing role
By the BBC's Nicholas Wood in Strpce

United Nations police in Kosovo have come under attack by hundreds of Serbs in the southern Kosovo town of Strpce.

The violence appeared to have been sparked off by the killing of a Serb man travelling in a UN escorted convoy.


There was one K-For soldier who received injuries, he was hit by a rock

K-For spokesman Jim Marshal
For two hours Strpce police station came under siege by an angry mob throwing stones and Molotov cocktails.

A thin line of Polish troops serving with the United Nations mission in Kosovo kept the crowds back and were eventually reinforced by a Ukrainian riot squad.

Soldier injured

Up to 200 US and Greek troops were brought in to quell the crowds.

A spokesman for the Nato-led K-For peacekeeping force said one soldier had been injured.

"A [United Nations] police building was severely damaged and several police vehicles were damaged or burnt,'' Major Jim Marshal said.

K-For soldier in Kosovo
There is a shortage of police

''There was one K-For soldier who received injuries, he was hit by a rock."

The protest started soon after one Serb man was killed and another injured in an attack on a UN escorted convoy.

Five ethnic Albanian men had been detained in connection with the shooting.

Increase in violence

Strpce is a Serb-dominated town surrounded by Albanian villages.

The UN convoys are one of the few means the Serbs have travel around the province.

The past two weeks has seen an escalation in attacks on the community with several buildings being blown up.

Further protests are expected in the town on Wednesday by demonstrators angry at what they see as the UN's failure to protect them in their own community.

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See also:

07 Feb 01 | Europe
Kosovo rebels accept peace talks
02 Feb 01 | Europe
Guerrillas threaten fragile peace
29 Jan 01 | Europe
Kostunica warns of fresh fighting
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