Patrols stepped up after attack in Kosovo
September 3, 2003
U.N. police have stepped up patrols in a village near Gnjilane, Kosovo, after one man was killed and five others injured in a grenade attack on Sunday.
Soldiers from the 24th Medical Company, staffed by National Guardsmen from Kansas and Nebraska, responded to the attack in Cernica.
The U.S. troops evacuated a man, Milomir Savic, 33, by helicopter to Camp Bondsteel, where he was treated at Task Force Medical Falcon. Savic died later.
“We would like to express condolences to the Savic family for their loss,” said Maj. Hilary Luton, an Army spokeswoman, in a news release. “Milomir Savic was given the best possible medical care.”
The attack is a step backward, Luton said, from progress seen over the past year in Cernica, an area with an ethnic Albanian majority but also home to many ethnic Serbs.
U.S. peacekeepers first arrived in the former Yugoslav province in June 1999, following a NATO air campaign against Serbia. Currently, the operation is led by troops from the Pennsylvania National Guard.
The explosion, which occurred at about 8 p.m., was “very much out of the ordinary,” said Barry Fletcher, a spokesman for the U.N. police force in Kosovo.
Three of the injured men were sent to hospitals in Serbia and their conditions are unknown.
“There’s an assumption that this is an ethnic attack because the victims were Serbs, but that’s not necessarily the case,” Fletcher said, citing Serbian media reports. “We have not confirmed a motive.”