The Nando times - Polish officer killed in Kosovo after confiscating explosive device

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (December 12, 1999) - A device that NATO peacekeepers confiscated from former Kosovo Albanian rebels exploded Saturday, killing a Polish army officer and wounding four others, Polish officials said.

Capt. Pat Sweeney, a spokesman for the American command in the peacekeeping force, confirmed the explosion, saying it occurred at the town of Djeneral Jankovic along the border with Macedonia. He would not provide additional details.

In Warsaw, the Polish news agency PAP, quoting the defense ministry, said the device had been confiscated from the Kosovo Protection Corps when it exploded, killing the officer immediately.

Defense Ministry spokesman Eugeniusz Mleczak told PAP that three of the wounded were treated at a Polish military clinic and the fourth was transported to an American military clinic. None of their injuries were life-threatening, he said.

He had no further details about when or how the explosive device was confiscated.

Polish peacekeepers are stationed in the American sector of the Yugoslav province, which has been under control by NATO-led peacekeepers since June.

The Kosovo Protection Corps is an organization from the ranks of the officially disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army, an ethnic Albanian guerrilla group that battled for the province's independence.

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