NATO's peacekeeping force in Kosovo to commemorate the deaths of soldiers

NATO's peacekeeping force in Kosovo on Tuesday will commemorate the deaths of soldiers and other personnel killed in a plane crash as they returned home in January after serving in the disputed province.

Slovakia's defense minister Martin Fedor and Lt. Gen. Giuseppe Valotto, who commands the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo, will dedicate a plaque to the 42 passengers of the AN-24 plane that crashed in January in northeastern Hungary, near the Slovak border.

Most of the passengers were Slovak soldiers on their way home from participating in a NATO-led peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. Only one person survived the crash.

The plaque will be unveiled in the NATO headquarters in Kosovo's capital Pristina, at a monument of NATO peacekeepers who died while serving in Kosovo.

Kosovo, formally part of Serbia-Montenegro, has been under U.N. rule since mid-1999 when a NATO air war halted Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.

Some 17,000 NATO-led peacekeepers are deployed in Kosovo and are in charge of the overall security in the province, reports the AP.


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