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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » April 2, 2008
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Polish Police Injured in Kosovo
April 2, 2008   
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Twenty-eight Polish police officers serving in a UN police force were injured during riots in Kosovska Mitrovica, a Serbian enclave in northern Kosovo, March 17. None of the officers is in a critical condition. Most have been brought back to Poland although a few are being treated in NATO hospitals in Kosovo. More than a dozen police officers from other countries were injured as well and one Ukrainian officer was killed.

The incident occurred after UN police evicted Serb demonstrators from a UN court building they had been occupying for three days. More than 500 UN soldiers and police, mostly Ukrainians, stormed the building at dawn and detained 53 Serbs.

Around 1,000 Serb demonstrators who had gathered near the court later attacked the convoy carrying the detainees, some of whom escaped. The demonstrators set fire to at least one UN vehicle and police used tear gas.

The outside of the building was guarded by 52 Polish police officers who came under fire from grenades and homemade explosives, including Molotov cocktails, and stones once the eviction got underway. Most injuries were caused by shrapnel.

The Polish contingent in Kosovo is a special Polish police unit comprising 115 police officers and 10 expert advisors. It has been part of the UN peace mission stationed in Kosovo since 2000. They escort VIPs, prisoners and money, and guard buildings, important venues, detention centers and ethnic enclaves.
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