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Two NATO peacekeepers die in road accident in Kosovo

Two Spanish peacekeepers serving with the NATO-led mission in Kosovo died and two others were injured in a road accident, officials said Thursday.

Their car skidded off a road, overturned and slammed into a petrol station in the west of the province, police said.

The troops were returning to the Base Espana military camp, home to some 600 Spanish troops. The base is located near the town of Istog, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of the provincial capital, Pristina.

The spokesman for the Spanish peacekeepers, Maj. Jesus Leal, said the two injured soldiers were taken by helicopter to a nearby military base. Neither had life threatening injuries.

The 16,000-strong NATO-led mission in Kosovo is in charge of securing the ethnically divided province, which has been administered by the United Nations since a 1999 bombing campaign forced an end to a crackdown by Serbian forces on ethnic Albanian separatists.

Kosovo is formally part of Serbia, but the U.N. mission is ultimately in charge of decision making, while the province's ethnic Albanian-dominated institutions run day to day affairs.

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