Soldier from North Macedonia dies as peacekeeper in Kosovo

January 8, 2022 GMT

PRISTINA, Kosovo (AP) — The NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo said Saturday that a participating soldier from North Macedonia has died.

The Kosovo Force mission said the male service member died in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, on Friday in circumstances unrelated to combat. A KFOR statement did not give the cause of death or any personal details.

“NATO mourns the loss of a soldier and we are here to support his friends. His fellow soldiers, sailors and airmen continue their U.N.-mandated brave mission,” the statement said.

North Macedonia joined NATO in 2020. The KFOR mission includes some 4,000 troops from 28 countries.

NATO troops have been present in Kosovo since 1999 after a bloody war between Serbia forces and ethnic Albanian separatists that ended with a 78-day NATO air campaign.

Kosovo was a Serbian province until it declared independence in 2008. Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s independence, and their relations remain tense.