CEOL
Kosovo Serbs condemn killing of physician

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Feb 28, 2000 -- (Reuters) Kosovo Serbs condemned on Sunday the killing of a physician who was gunned down in the eastern town of Gnjilane, near the border with Serbia.

Josef Vasic, a gynaecologist, was killed in the center of Gnjilane on Saturday by four bullets fired by an unidentified gunman, the Belgrade news agency Beta reported.

NATO-led KFOR peacekeepers in the Kosovo provincial capital Pristina confirmed on Sunday that a man had been killed in Gnjilane but said they had no further details.

Oliver Ivanovic, a leader of the Serbian National Council (SNC) which claims to represent some 50,000 Serbs still living in northern Kosovo, said that the victim was an SNC member.

"I think that Albanian extremists understood that the SNC is the organization that has the power and we try to organize our people," Ivanovic said.

"This is the danger for the Albanians because unorganized Serbs will be easier to kick out," he said.

Ivanovic predicted there would be more attacks on Serbs, tens of thousands of whom fled Kosovo since last June when NATO and the United Nations took over running the province.

He said remaining Serb enclaves, including Gnjilane, Kosovo Polje and Gracanica, "will be in big danger".

Serbia has claimed that "Albanian terrorists" are becoming active in the border area near eastern Kosovo.

The official Tanjug news agency reported from Belgrade on that a Serb policeman and an ethnic Albanian guerrilla were killed in a shoot-out near the border on Saturday night.

Tanjug said three other policemen were wounded when guerrillas of the Kosovo Liberation Army crossed from Kosovo and ambushed a police patrol.




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