The white UNHCR bus, which has been operating weekly since November 1999, was under the escort of two KFOR armored vehicles when the attack took place at 4:00 p.m.
Since the first UNHCR bus line was inaugurated last October, UNHCR has been shuttling thousands of Kosovo civilians weekly between isolated communities across the province on eight different routes all escorted by KFOR personnel. This was the first incident of its kind.
"I am horrified by this incident," said Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs/UNHCR Special Envoy Dennis McNamara. "This was a vicious attack on a clearly-marked UNHCR bus carrying civilians."
"We are suspending all UNHCR bus lines operating in Kosovo while this attack is being investigated," McNamara said. "The bus lines have been a key part of UNHCR's strategy to provide freedom of movement for populations living in Kosovo's isolated enclaves."
The wounded, all Kosovo Serbs, were immediately evacuated by KFOR to the French military hospital in Mitrovica. The Danish driver of the bus, an employee of the Danish Refugee Council, was unhurt in the attack.
KFOR personnel are investigating the incident and have closed the road where the attack took place.