U.S. Solider Killed In Kosovo

A U.S. soldier was killed when his military vehicle struck a land mine in eastern Kosovo, officials said Thursday.

Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon identified the soldier as Army Staff Sgt. Joseph Suponcic, 26, of Jersey Shore, Pa.

The accident occurred late Wednesday, when the soldier's Humvee hit a land mine near Kosovska Kamenica, 20 miles east of Pristina in the American-controlled sector of the province.

Suponcic was a passenger in the utility vehicle, which was traveling on a road believed to have been cleared of mines, Bacon said. The Humvee's driver was injured, but not seriously.

Suponcic was a member of the army's C Company, 3rd Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group.

NATO bombarded Yugoslavia for 78 days to force Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to halt attacks on ethnic Albanian militants.

The war ended when NATO peacekeepers entered the province in June.

Eighteen members of the Kosovo peacekeeping force have been killed since the mission began, a NATO official said Thursday.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed