Iraq Invasion Reportedly Triggered UN Shootout

April 21st, 2004 - by admin

World Net Daily & Radio Free Europe – 2004-04-21 09:24:56

KOSOVO (April 18, 2004) — A Jordanian police officer, working as a UN peacekeeper in Kosovo, opened fire on his fellow UN correctional officers — 21 Americans, two Turks and an Austrian — before being shot dead.

Two American women were killed in the 10-minute gunbattle yesterday in the Kosovo UN compound. Among the wounded, Reuters reported, were 10 Americans, including four women. Both of the women killed were police officers, according to the New York Times.

According to Petra, the official Jordanian news agency, the officer’s name was Ahmed Mustafa Ibrahim Ali.

UN spokesman Neeraj Singh told Associated Press, “As far as we know, there was no communication between the officer who fired and the group of victims.”

“Their wounds are predominantly in the chest and abdomen,” Dr. Milan Ivanovic told AP. “They were caused by firearms and possibly explosive devices.”

According to one US policeman assigned to guard the wounded at Mitrovoca hospital, the “attack was organized.”

“I’m sorry that none of the services was able to prevent it,” he told Reuters without detailing his reasons for believing the shooting was premeditated.

While the cause of the rampage is still under investigation, the firefight reportedly followed an emotional argument among police officers over the war in Iraq.

The Jordanian government expressed regret over the incident, noting that it is conducting it’s own investigation to determine what happened. According to Reuters, four Jordanian police officers were placed under arrest following the shootout.

“I am deeply shocked and dismayed at the unfortunate death of dedicated professionals who have come such a great distance to help Kosovo on its road to the future,” the province’s UN governor Harri Holkeri said in a statement.

© 2004

UN’s Kosovo Peacekeeping Force under “Increasing Strain”
Robert McMahon / Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

United Nations, (April 20, 2004) — Four Jordanian police officers are being held for questioning by UN investigators over a shooting incident between UN police officers in Kosovo that left three people dead.

A UN spokesman in New York, Farhan Haq, told RFE/RL that no motive for the attack is yet known. He declined to comment directly on news reports suggesting the attack was motivated by US policy in the Middle East.

“We certainly hope that the sort of incidents that have happened elsewhere around the world are not affecting the work that is being done in our various peacekeeping missions by UN police, by UN troops,” Haq said.

The Americans were employed by Dyncorp, a private company that trains police, correctional, and judicial officers.

The United States and Jordan have each contributed more than 400 officers to the 3,500-member international police force in Kosovo. The force has been under increasing strain due to the outburst of ethnic violence last month in the province, in which 19 people were killed. Haq said the incident adds to UN worries in Kosovo.

“We hope that the UN police in Kosovo can continue to do their work as professionally as they have done in the past. It’s been a hard time, and this incident is a further cause for concern, but we certainly hope and trust that this is an isolated matter,” Haq said.

Haq said such incidents between UN personnel are rare. He said the last major incident involving police in Kosovo occurred in March 2003, when a Jordanian police officer fatally shot a fellow Jordanian officer and later committed suicide.

Copyright © 2004 RFE/RL, Inc. Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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