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Saturday, June 19, 1999 Published at 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK

World: Europe

UK troops in road crash

The five were "shaken up, but okay"

Five British soldiers serving in Kosovo have been injured in a road accident near Lipljan, south of Pristina.

Kosovo: Special Report
The troops, from the Royal Irish Regiment, were travelling in an armoured vehicle which overturned in heavy rain. None of them was seriously hurt.

Serbs from a village near Lipljan had called on K-For, the peacekeeping force made up of troops from contributing Nato nations, for help.

They said their village was under attack by rebels of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

Troops were told road accidents represented a major hazard, says George Eykyn
Soldiers from the Royal Irish Regiment responded to the call, but on the road their Saxon troop carrier overturned.

An Army spokesman, in London, said the accident happened on a "typical Kosovo country road".

He said: "The five occupants were given a bit of a shaking up inside the vehicle but everyone is okay.

"It was a typical Kosovo road, not exactly perfect, and the vehicle came off it. There was one driver and four other soldiers inside who suffered a few cuts and bruises."

Discharged from hospital

The soldiers were evacuated by helicopter and arrived at a medical facility within 35 minutes of the call for help being made.

Four suffered minor injuries and shock and were discharged immediately. One was kept in for observation as he had head injuries, but has since been discharged.

After the accident, other troops followed up the original call for help, and they confiscated a number of weapons from Serbs.

The Royal Irish Regiment, based at Catterick Army Garrison, North Yorkshire, had been in the country only a few weeks.

Before their deployment into Kosovo, peacekeeping troops from all the contributing nations were warned that road accidents would pose one of the greatest dangers to life and limb.

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