Emirates soldiers wounded in Kosovo attack

PRISTINA, Aug 25, 2000 -- (Reuters) Assailants fired rifle grenades at the Kosovo base of peacekeepers from the United Arab Emirates, wounding two soldiers in a suspected revenge attack, the NATO-led KFOR force said on Thursday.

KFOR said the Wednesday night attack on the base in the town Vucitrn, northern Kosovo, could only be seen as retaliation for an incident on Monday in which an ethnic Albanian father and son were shot and fatally wounded by a UAE soldier.

The Emirates' peacekeeping contingent has said the soldier intervened after his colleagues were assaulted by the Albanians, who also tried to disarm them. A preliminary report said the soldier had fired warning shots first.

The case has aroused anger among Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority, with several newspapers publishing accounts which question the Emirates' version of events.

U.S. Army Major General Ken Browa, the acting KFOR commander, strongly condemned the apparent revenge attack.

"KFOR has zero tolerance against criminals who violently attack our troops in the performance of their duties," he said.

"We will take appropriate action to ensure KFOR soldiers are protected and criminals who perpetuate violent attacks against our troops are brought to justice," he said in a statement.

A KFOR spokesman said the two soldiers were not seriously wounded. One was injured in the right leg and another in the ear, he said.

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