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Voice of America, 99-07-03

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO SHOOTING (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)

  • [01] KOSOVO SHOOTING (L-ONLY) BY TIM BELAY (PRISTINA)

    DATE=7/3/99
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-251394
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: NATO TROOPS SHOT AND KILLED TWO INDEPENDENCE DAY CELEBRANTS IN KOSOVO EARLY THIS (SATURDAY) MORNING. TIM BELAY REPORTS FROM PRISTINA ON WIDESPREAD QUESTIONS OVER WHETHER THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE WAS JUSTIFIED.

    TEXT: EVEN THOUGH MANY PEOPLE WERE FIRING WEAPONS INTO THE AIR (FRIDAY NIGHT) TO CELEBRATE THE NINTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLIDAY KNOWN LOCALLY AS "KOSOVO DAY," NATO TROOPS GENERALLY STOOD BY, KEEPING WATCH ON THE SITUATION FROM HELICOPTERS, BUT NOT INTEVENING.

    THE EXCEPTION CAME JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT WHEN LOCAL SERBIAN GOVERNMENT MINISTERS REQUESTED NATO PROTECTION.

    MAJOR JAN JOOSTEN, A SPOKESMAN FOR NATO'S MISSION IN KOSOVO, CALLED "K-FOR," SAYS THE CONFRONTRATION TOOK PLACE BETWEEN ALLIANCE TROOPS WHO RESPONDED TO THE REQUEST AND A CARLOAD OF EIGHT ETHNIC ALBANIAN REVELERS.

    /// JOOSTEN ACT ///

    THE "K-FOR" PATROL BELIEVED THAT THEIR LIVES WERE DANGER AND FIRED EIGHT SHOTS AT THE VEHICLE. ONE PERSON WAS KILLED ON THE SPOT AND THREE WERE VERY SERIOUSLY INJURED, AND ONE PERSON DIED LATER IN THE HOSPITAL.

    /// END ACT ///

    MAJOR JOOSTEN SAYS NATO IS HAPPY TO SEE PEOPLE CELEBRATING AFTER HAVING EXPERIENCED SO MUCH HARDSHIP. AND THE MILITARY LEADERS ALSO REALIZE CELEBRATORY GUNFIRE IS NORMAL IN THIS PART OF THE WORLD. STILL, HE CAUTIONED AGAINST REPEATING SUCH BEHAVIOR BECAUSE OF THE HIGH LEVEL OF ETHNIC TENSION IN KOSOVO.

    WITNESSES TO THE CONFRONTATION WHICH KILLED TWO PEOPLE AND SERIOUSLY INJURED TWO OTHERS SAY THE VICTIMS WERE FIRING INTO THE AIR.

    MAJOR JAN JOOSTEN SAYS MORE DETAIL ABOUT THE INCIDENT WILL COME OUT LATER.

    MAJOR JOOSTEN SAYS NATO IS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE HIGH NUMBER OF WEAPONS IN THE HANDS OF KOSOVAR ALBANIANS. ALLIANCE TROOPS HAVE SO FAR CONFISCATED 14-HUNDRED GUNS. (SIGNED)
    NEB/TB/DW/WTW
    03-Jul-99 8:44 AM EDT (1244 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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