BBC
Violence flares in Kosovan town

Sunday, 13 February, 2000


Automatic weapons fire and grenade explosions have broken out in Kosovska Mitrovica, the Kosovan town divided between hostile ethnic Albanians and Serbs.
Two French soldiers were injured, according to a spokesman for the K-For peacekeeping force. One of the soldiers was reported shot in the stomach.
United Nations police said that several civilians were also injured in the northern Serb-dominated section of the town, when a grenade was thrown into their house.
It is not clear whether the victims of the grenade attack were Serbs or ethnic Albanians.
Serb sources in the town say that the trouble started when several ethnic Albanians from the south side of the River Ibar crossed to the north.
At least 10 French tanks crossed from the Albanian-dominated south side of the town to the north to try to impose order.
Civilians were ordered to take cover, in case of retaliation by Serb snipers.

Recent history of violence
Kosovska Mitrovica has been the scene of repeated clashes between Serbs and ethnic Albanians.
Several people were killed earlier this month and hundreds of ethnic Albanians have fled their homes in the Serb-dominated part of Mitrovica.
Security measures have already been stepped up. More international peacekeepers have been brought into the town and several hundred extra police officers are due to join them.
An American K-For peacekeeping soldier was shot on Friday in another part of Kosovo.
The soldier was shot in the leg on Friday while on guard duty at Camp Montieth in the US-controlled town of Gnjilane in the south of the province.




Original article