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Yugoslavia: KFOR Concerned About Attacks On Peacekeepers

Pristina, 6 August 1999 (RFE/RL) - A spokesman with the NATO-led peacekeeping force (KFOR) in Kosovo today expressed concern about a rash of attacks against KFOR soldiers in recent days. The latest violence included three attacks on Russian soldiers overnight at checkpoints in eastern Kosovo. There were also reports of an exchange of gunfire with people trying to attack a Serb home in Urosevac and three cases in which shots were fired at other NATO checkpoints or patrols. No deaths were reported.

Major Jan Joosten told reporters in Pristina that 15 suspects have been detained in connection with the incidents, which left one Russian soldier slightly injured.

Joosten also said people in Kosovo should remember that the peacekeepers have "robust rules of engagement," including the right to defend themselves.

As Joosten spoke, an estimated 3,000 ethnic Albanians in Kamenica staged a 14th day of anti-Russian demonstrations there. Russian soldiers reportedly patrolled nearby, but there were no reported incidents.

Meanwhile, the United Nations refugee agency today said it resolved a dispute with Macedonian authorities over a hefty inspection fee being charged trucks transporting humanitarian aid to Kosovo. Because of the fee, the agency held back hundreds of trucks in Skopje while trying to resolve the issue.