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2 U.S. Peacekeepers Die

Two U.S. soldiers were killed and three suffered minor injuries when their armored personnel carrier overturned during a peacekeeping patrol, sources from the NATO-led peacekeeping force said Monday.

The two deaths were the first suffered by U.S. troops in Kosovo since the KFOR peace force entered the Yugoslav province in mid-June as Serbian troops withdrew in return for an end to NATO bombardment.

Major Mark Ballesteros said the soldiers involved in the accident were assigned to Bravo Company of the Ninth Engineering Battalion, part of the First Infantry Division. The battalion is based in Schweinfurt, Germany.

The names of the dead were being withheld pending notification of their families.

Spokesman Jan Joosten said the accident Sunday occurred about two miles northeast of Gnjilane, the town where the U.S. troops are based. Gnjilane is located about 20 miles southwest of Pristina, the provincial capital.

Joosten said the two soldiers died of their injuries after the accident, in which the armored vehicle overturned after it lost a track.

©1999 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report

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