Troops Killed by Bomb, not Mine |
Wednesday, June 23, 1999; Page A16
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia, June 22The British military said today it was a NATO cluster bomb, not a Yugoslav booby trap as previously reported, that killed two peacekeeping soldiers and two civilians Monday as troops cleared munitions from a school.
The deaths of Lt. Gareth Evans and Sgt. Balaram Rai were the first allied fatalities since NATO peacekeepers entered Kosovo on June 12. Dozens of civilians, however, have died in explosions of land mines and booby traps since the peacekeeping force began to take control of the southern Serbian province. The explosion occurred at a schoolhouse in Negrovce, 20 miles west of Pristina.
The soldiers, from the British army's 69th Gurkha Field Squadron, which is made up mostly of Nepalese troops, had been called in by villagers after they found unexploded cluster bombs at the school, said Lt. Col. Nick Clissitt, a British military spokesman in Pristina.
"These were munitions used in order to destroy Serb forces in the field in what was a Serb army and paramilitary police stronghold," he explained.
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