Serb snatched by other Serbs from UN police convoy

PRISTINA, Jun 26, 2000 -- (AFP) A Serbian man was kidnapped after his car was cut off from a convoy escorted by UN police near the northwestern Kosovo town of Podujevo, a UN police spokesman said Monday.

A UN police vehicle was leading a small convoy of Serbs from a border crossing near Merdare Saturday when a car with four Serb men pulled in front of the last vehicle which was carrying a man and a woman, said spokesman Charley Johnson.

The suspect car then slowed down, separating the car from the convoy and forcing it to stop. The woman was driven back to the boundary with Serbia by the men and the man was abducted, Johnson said.

It was "just like a wolf singling out a sheep," said Johnson.

Local Serb witnesses told AFP the man was Tomislav Marlovic and identified the woman with him as his wife.

Johnson said UN police were investigating the incident and considering also putting escort vehicles at the rear of convoys in the future, although the force is severely understaffed.

Serbs entering and leaving the UN-run Yugoslav province are frequently escorted by international peacekeeping troops or UN police for their own safety, amid persistent anti-Serb violence a year after the end of the war.

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