The attack that occurred about 20km north of capital Pristina came after two days of relative quiet after last week's Albanian-Serb ethnic violence.

"In an attack against a police patrol, two policemen were killed – one international and one local," Kosovo police chief Sheremet Ahmetli said.

"This is very sad for Kosovo," he added. An interpreter with the patrol was lightly wounded.

Sudden attack

A Kosovo police source said a saloon car pulled up alongside a marked red-and-white UN car and gunmen fired at it. The patrol returned fire, but the attackers fled.

In the worst flare-up of violence since NATO and the UN established control of the province in 1999, Albanian crowds attacked and torched Serb villages and churches last week, forcing 3200 to flee. The violence claimed 28 lives.

NATO rushed in 2000 more troops to help quell the violence.