KFOR observation tower destroyed in rocket attack

PRISTINA, Jul 17, 2000 -- (AFP) An observation tower under construction for peacekeepers in Kosovo was destroyed in a rocket attack in the early hours of Saturday morning, the NATO-led KFOR force said.

The attacker was believed to have fired one round from an M-80 rocket launcher at the tower three kilometers (two miles) east of the town of Lipljan, said Captain Kath Hurley, a press officer for Kosovo's British-led central military sector.

Finnish peacekeepers had been building the tower, on the main road between the Kosovo capital Pristina and Skopje, the capital of neighboring Macedonia, but no KFOR personnel were at the location at the time of the attack, Hurley said.

KFOR has built several high wooden observation towers along main roads to try to improve security in Kosovo, particularly for Serbs and other minorities.

Serbs have been attacked numerous times since KFOR arrived in June last year by ethnic Albanians seeking vengeance for years of repression at the hands of Serb forces. Other ethnic groups accused of collaboration have also been targeted.

Attacks on KFOR personnel and their facilities have been rare, however, as the peacekeepers are generally seen by the ethnic Albanian majority as a friendly force which helped liberate them from Serb rule.

Original article