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osovo: UN officials mourn crash deaths

Kosovo: UN officials mourn crash deaths of NATO-led Slovak troops, civilians

Senior United Nations officials today mourned the deaths of 42 troops and civilians from Slovakia who died in a recent plane crash while serving with the NATO-led Kosovo International Security Force (KFOR). Through his spokesman, Secretary-General Kofi Annan reacted with sadness to the fatal crash of a military plane last Thursday night in north-eastern Hungary en route from Kosovo to Slovakia.

“He extends his profound condolences to the Slovak Government and to the bereaved families and wishes a speedy recovery to the sole survivor,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Mr. Annan’s senior envoy to Kosovo, Søren Jessen-Petersen, voiced his sympathy in a statement released on Friday. “My thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives, and I extend to them my heartfelt condolences on behalf of UNMIK,” he said, referring to the UN Interim Administration Mission which runs Kosovo. He also voiced hope that the survivor would quickly regain health.

In a conversation with Slovak Foreign Minister Eduard Kukan, Mr. Jessen-Petersen paid tribute to the country’s important contribution to KFOR.

KFOR is a NATO-led international force responsible for establishing and maintaining security in Kosovo. It has been operating in the province since 1999 under a United Nations mandate.

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