CEOL
Kosovo peacekeepers destroy bunker network

PRISTINA, Jul 21, 2000 -- (Reuters) Peacekeepers have discovered and destroyed a complex of bunkers and strongpoints in Kosovo, the NATO-led force said on Thursday.

A month after peacekeeping troops discovered a huge cache of ammunition in the restive Serbian province, KFOR said tire tracks and footprints suggested recent occupation of what might have been an extremist training area.

Soldiers from Kosovo's U.S.-led eastern military sector uncovered the complex during a search requested by Serb elders from the village of Strpce, around 20 km (12 miles) from the province's border with Macedonia.

"During the course of the operation, bunkers and fighting positions were destroyed," the peacekeepers said in a statement.

It said the area "might have been used by extremist elements". A KFOR spokesman said he had no information on what particular groups may have been involved.

Since the United Nations and NATO took over responsibility for Kosovo in June last year, Serbs have been the targets of numerous attacks by members of the ethnic Albanian majority, which suffered years of repression under Serb rule.

Serbs have long accused elements of the officially disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army of being behind many attacks. KLA commanders have denied any involvement.

International officials have acknowledged that some attacks appear to be well-organized and orchestrated, but have not accused any particular group of responsibility.

In June, British KFOR troops uncovered their biggest haul of ammunition, including high explosive, mines, mortar bombs, 64mm anti-armor rounds, grenades and tonnnes of small arms ammunition - but very few weapons.



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