Suspect in death of Russian Kosovo soldier escapes

PRISTINA, Mar 6, 2000 -- (Reuters) A suspect in the killing of a Russian peacekeeping soldier in Kosovo escaped from prison just two days after he was arrested, a spokesman for the KFOR peacekeeping force said on Sunday.

"The 15-year-old who was arrested for the killing of the Russian soldier escaped," said Major Kristian Kahrs, a spokesman for the peacekeeping force. He said he had no further details, including the suspect's name or from which prison he escaped and how he got out.

Private Igor Korshunov, 31, was shot once in the chest in broad daylight by a gunman in the overwhelmingly Albanian town of Srbica, 40 km (25 miles) northwest of Pristina, on Tuesday.

French gendarmes in the French-controlled northern zone of Kosovo have been investigating the incident but have not so far revealed the reason for the shooting.

Korshunov is the third Russian soldier shot on peacekeeping duties in Kosovo but the first to die. Russians have not been welcome in ethnic Albanian areas of the predominantly Albanian province because of their perceived sympathies for Orthodox co-religionist Serbs.

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