No apparent hostile action in crash of British KFOR helicopter, UN says

10 April 2001

A helicopter crash in Kosovo which took the lives of two British officers does not appear to have been caused by any deliberate aggression, a United Nations spokesman announced today.

"At this stage, KFOR says, the cause of the crash is unknown but there are no indications that it was caused by hostile action from any group," said Fred Eckhard, referring to information received from the international security force in the province. He noted that at the time of yesterday's crash, the weather was "poor with low clouds and heavy rain."

According to KFOR, the pilot and navigator were killed and five others injured in the incident, which took place near the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The aircraft was conducting operations "in support of efforts to secure the border and eradicate the extremist activity that has threatened to destabilize the region," Mr. Eckhard said.

In other news, the chairman of the working group elaborating a legal framework for Kosovo's provisional self-government said today the effort was progressing on schedule.

Johan Van Lamoen told the Kosovo Interim Administrative Council that although a draft document was expected to be ready on Friday, the working group might hold extraordinary meetings next week to clarify outstanding issues, including a request by the Kosovo Albanians to name the document the "interim constitution."

Mr. Van Lamoen also expressed regret that the Kosovo Serbs had participated in only one of the group's meetings, but welcomed their announced return for the final sessions. He cautioned, however, that it would be difficult to "go back to page one and start all over again."


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