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Kosovo: First Fatal Attack on UN Police Force

Kosovo: officer killed in first fatal attack on UN police force

The United Nations police force in Kosovo suffered its first fatal attack last night when an officer was shot and killed in a sniper ambush while driving towards the former flashpoint town of Mitrovica in what the top UN envoy in the area called a “despicable” and “repugnant” act of murder.

The UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) has begun an intense criminal probe into the murder of officer Satish Menon, who was on his way from the village of Leposavic towards Mitrovica, a town with a Serb-majority north and an Albanian-majority south that was the scene of violent demonstrations last year.

“UNMIK police is here to assist in establishing the rule of law,” Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Acting Special Representative Charles Brayshaw said today. “By attacking the police, those responsible for this attack will not succeed in distracting the police from its duties.”

Calling it a despicable act, Mr. Brayshaw added: “I know that the people of Kosovo are astounded and repudiate completely this murder. I know they find this as repugnant as I do. This was a direct attack on international forces of law and order.”

UNMIK was established in 1999 to provide an interim civilian administration under which the people of the province, ravaged by war between ethnic Serbs and Albanians, could progressively enjoy substantial autonomy.

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