Peacekeepers arrest Serb for Kosovo violence

PRISTINA, Jul 7, 2000 -- (Reuters) Peacekeepers in Kosovo said on Thursday they had arrested a man in connection with an attack by Serbs on UN offices in the south of the Yugoslav province and had restarted some suspended operations.

The NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force said it had arrested a Serb man from the town of Strpce, where a crowd of Serbs angered by the disappearance of a local man trashed the local offices of Kosovo's United Nations administration late last month.

After the violence, KFOR suspended its escorts of Serbs from the area wishing to travel to Serbia proper for non-essential reasons. But KFOR said on Thursday these escorts would resume on a trial basis after talks with local Serb leaders.

"The Serb community today rejected violence as a means of solving problems and has recognized the legitimate authority the interim United Nations administration," said Captain Loran Doane, a spokesman for KFOR's U.S.-led eastern sector.

KFOR and the UN took over responsibility for Kosovo in June last year, after NATO's air war to end repression of the province's ethnic Albanian majority by driving out Serb forces.

Serbs in Kosovo have been the targets of numerous attacks over the past year and have sometimes vented their anger on the international authorities responsible for their security.

The UN denounced last month's violence in Strpce as "well coordinated and organized by persons not from the area".

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