Wednesday, June 23, 1999 Published at 00:23 GMT 01:23 UK
Gurkha family 'shattered'
Gurkhas were among the first Nato troops in Kosovo
The father of one of the two Gurkhas killed in Kosovo has spoken about the accident that has "shattered" his family.
His son, Lieutenant Gareth Evans, was with Sergeant Balaram Rai and two Kosovo Albanians when they were killed by an explosion while moving Nato ordnance from a school.
They planned to move the unexploded bombs away from the school before destroying them in a controlled blast.
"His funeral will be an emotional time for us all. We are extremely proud of Gareth's contribution to the Nato force in Kosovo.
"We extend our sympathies to the families of the men killed with him."
The two British soldiers arrived in Kosovo with 69 Gurkha Field Squadron two weeks ago.
Lt Evans, 25, had been a serving soldier since 1997. He attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst before joining the Gurkhas and undertaking language training in Nepal.
He attended Downs School in Wraxall, near Bristol before going to Monmouth public school and studying mechanical engineering at Exeter University.
A keen sportsman, he played rugby for the Corps of Royal Engineers and hockey for his regiment. Lt Evans is survived by his parents and a sister.
Sgt Rai, a father of three, had served in Hong Kong, Brunei, and the Falklands before being posted to the Balkans.
The British Army is investigating the deaths, which were the first Nato fatalities since the alliance began peacekeeping duties in Kosovo.
Gurkhas were among the first Nato troops to enter Kosovo as part of the international peacekeeping force K-For.
They helped take control of high ground on the strategic road from Blace, in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to Pristina.