UN chief deplores death of UN peacekeeping policeman in Kosovo

11:22, 19 March 2008
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He called on all parties to refrain from violence

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored on Tuesday the death of peacekeeping UNMIK Police officer Ihor Kynal of Ukraine in Kosovo.

   According to Xinhua, in a statement released by his spokesperson, Ban said he was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Kynal, who died due to injuries received during the violent clashes in Mitrovica, Kosovo, on Monday.

    He called on all parties to refrain from violence and to engage in a constructive dialogue and work together to promote security and stability in Kosovo.

    The secretary-general extended his condolences to the family of officer Kynal and to the government of Ukraine and thanked them for their dedicated commitment to the work of the United Nations in Kosovo.

    Riots erupted in the northern part of the flashpoint town of Mitrovica on Monday after several hundred UN special police backed by French NATO peacekeepers stormed the Municipal and District Court in the town and arrested dozens of Serbs, former court employees, who had been protesting in the building for several days, demanding their jobs back nine years after they were left jobless in 1999.

    The riots escalated into clashes in which firearms, teargas and shock bombs were used.

    Around 70 Serbs were injured, of whom 15 seriously injured were hospitalized, while two persons who had received life-threatening injuries were transported to Kragujevac and Belgrade.

    Regional Kosovo Police Service spokesman Besim Hoti said on Monday more than 100 UN police officers and NATO-led peacekeeping forces were injured in Monday`s clashes.

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