UN police in Kosovo arrest four more suspects over murder of two colleagues

8 April 2004

Police from the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) have arrested another four people in connection with the murder last month of two police officers in the troubled province, a UN spokesman announced today.

The arrests bring to seven the total number of suspects arrested over the killings, spokesman Stephane Dujarric told a press briefing in New York.

The police officers - one from Ghana and one from the Kosovo Police Service - had been conducting routine work in a marked UN car near Podujevo, in the Pristina region, on 23 March when they were shot dead. A UN language assistant was also shot but survived the attack.

The killings occurred less than a week after the province endured its worst violence since UNMIK assumed control almost five years ago. Nineteen people were killed, hundreds of other people were injured and many homes and religious buildings were destroyed or damaged in the ethnically-based clashes.

The latest arrests followed yesterday's interception of a vehicle carrying three people in Kosovo. When the occupants tried to escape, police gave chase and one of the group being pursued, a Kosovo Albanian man, received gunshot injuries.

Mr. Dujarric said the man was immediately arrested and taken to a hospital. His condition there is said to be not life-threatening.

A subsequent search, with the help of air support from the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR), led to the arrest of three other Kosovo Albanians.

Two men and one woman, all Kosovo Albanians, are already in pre-trial custody over their alleged involvement in the murders.


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