Albanian Daily News
Russian soldiers accused of shooting Kosovar Albanians

Feb 07, 2000

PRISHTINA - An ethnic Albanian man was in critical condition Friday after being shot in the head by Russian peacekeeping troops of the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), his family said.

Fitim Kastrati, 23, and another young man whose identity was not released, were shot by Russian troops late Wednesday in the eastern town of Kamenica, his father Sadik told French news agency AFP.

KFOR said the Russian troops stepped in to break up a fight in a Kamenica nightclub at 11:00 p.m.(2200 GMT). Some men resisted and one soldier was injured, the NATO-led peacekeeping forces said in a statement.

Three men then jumped in a car and sped off despite warnings to stop from the troops who fired into the car, wounding two men.

One of the casualties was evacuated to a medical centre at the nearby US base of Camp Bondsteel, while Kastrati was flown by US helicopter to the intensive care unit at Prishtina hospital.

His father denied that Kastrati had been in a fight, saying that he had been in a bar next to the one where the trouble had broken out.

He said his son had been hurrying home to avoid the 11:00 p.m. curfew in place in the town when the Russian soldiers - whom he accused of often being drunk on duty - opened fire without provocation.

Medical staff at Prishtina hospital said Kastrati was on life support with a bullet lodged in his brain and one in his shoulder. The other man was hit in the shoulder, a KFOR spokesman said.

The spokesman said a US-Russian investigation was underway in the sector, which is under US command.

On Thursday, a Russian peacekeeper was shot in the shoulder while escorting Serb children from school to their homes in the village of Beri Vojce, Philipp said. The soldier was transported to a Russian military hospital in the town of Kamenica, and later to another Russian military hospital in Fushe Kosova (Kosovo Polje), a few miles southwest of Prishtina. It is not known whether the two incidents were related.

Original article