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BBC's Kate Adie in Pristina
"French soldiers have been hard pressed to keep the peace"
 real 28k

The BBC's Irene Guzelova reports
"There appears to be no end to the violence that has swept through Kosovska Mitrovica"
 real 28k

Sunday, 13 February, 2000, 21:32 GMT
Violence flares in Kosovo town

Peacekeepers run for cover as shots break out

There has been more violence in the divided Kosovo town of Mitrovica, with a curfew imposed after international peacekeeping forces coming under direct fire for the first time.

One ethnic Albanian, described as a sniper, was shot dead as Nato-led K-For peacekeepers returned fire and five others were wounded but their injuries were not life-threatening.
Kosovo: Special Report

A seven-day, sunset-to-dawn curfew was ordered on Sunday to take effect immediately.

It followed an earlier incident in the northern Kosovo town which has been the scene of repeated clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.

For about two hours, Mitrovica was rocked by grenade explosions and automatic weapons fire.

Two French peacekeepers were injured in the violence. One of the soldiers was reported shot in the stomach. He has undergone surgery and is out of danger, according to K-For officials. The second soldier was hit in the arm.

United Nations police said that seven Albanian civilians were also injured in the northern Serb-dominated section of the town, when a grenade was thrown into their house.

Who started the violence?

It is unclear who started the violence. It may have been sparked by the throwing of the grenade into the Albanian home.

Two K-For soldiers were shot
Serb sources in the town say that the trouble started when several ethnic Albanians from the south side of the River Ibar crossed to the north.

But a BBC correspondent in Belgrade, Irene Guzelova, says the violence may have been provoked after Nato peacekeepers raided a bar on Saturday night which Albanians say is a base in the town for Serb paramilitaries.

Recent history of violence

Mitrovica has been the scene of repeated clashes between the two communities who share the divided town.

Several people were killed earlier this month and hundreds of ethnic Albanians have fled their homes in the Serb-dominated part of Mitrovica.

Security measures have already been stepped up. More international peacekeepers have been brought into the town and several hundred extra police officers are due to join them.

An American K-For peacekeeping soldier was shot on Friday in another part of Kosovo.

The soldier was shot in the leg on Friday while on guard duty at Camp Montieth in the US-controlled town of Gnjilane in the south of the province.

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See also:
09 Feb 00 |  Europe
K-For 'stood back' in Mitrovica
04 Feb 00 |  Europe
Analysis: What went wrong?
24 Jun 99 |  Europe
Mitrovica: A divided town
12 Feb 00 |  Europe
US soldier shot in Kosovo
05 Feb 00 |  Europe
Call for calm in Mitrovica
04 Feb 00 |  Europe
Families flee Kosovo violence

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