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Updated: 5 August 1999 KFOR Press Statements

Pristina,
Kosovo

16 July 1999

KFOR Press Statement

Delivered by LCdr Louis Garneau, KFOR spokesman

  • AT 1::15 PM YESTERDAY A UK PATROL DISCOVERED WHAT WAS BELIEVED TO BE AN ILLEGAL POLICE STATION IN PRISTINA (1 KM NORTH NORTH WEST OF THE PRESS CENTRE). 1 PARA ENTERED THE POLICE STATION AND FOUND 3 MEN IN CIVILIAN CLOTHES. THEY FOUND PAPERWORK MARKED "UCK MP BUSINESS" AND CONFISCATED 1 PISTOL AND A GRENADE.
  • AT 1:40 PM YESTERDAY NEAR VITINA (IN MNB EAST) AN EXPLOSION OCCURRED. THERE WERE 9 CASUALTIES, OF WHO 7 ARE NOW IN THE US FIELD HOSPITAL AND 2 WERE TAKEN TO THE GNJILANE HOSPITAL. NONE OF THE INJURIES ARE BELIEVED TO BE LIFE THREATENING. EYEWITNESS ACCOUNTS INDICATED THAT A WHITE VW VEHICLE WAS SEEN DROPPING OFF A PARCEL WHICH SOON AFTER WAS DETONATED. AT 16:30 HRS THE CAR WAS LOCATED AND TWO OCCUPANTS WERE BEING DETAINED FOR QUESTIONING.

  • ALSO ON THURSDAY AT 3:45 PM AN EXPLOSION TOOK PLACE NEAR THE OSCE BUILDING IN PRISTINA. 2 CIVILIANS WERE INJURED AND TAKEN TO THE PRISTINA HOSPITAL. THE ROYAL MILITARY POLICE IS INVESTIGATING. IT IS BELIEVED THE EXPLOSION WAS THE RESULT OF A HAND GRENADE THROWN, AND NOT AT, THE OSCE BUILDING.

  • AT 4:50 PM MNB CENTRE REPORTED THAT, JUST AFTER THE EXPLOSION ABOVE, GUNSHOTS WERE HEARD IN NORTHERN PART OF TOWN(AT GRID EN 135239). THEY FOUND A MALE WITH AN ABDOMINAL GUNSHOT WOUND. THE INDIVIDUAL WAS BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN DRUNK. THE MILITARY POLICE BELIEVE THE TWO INCIDENTS MAY BE CONNECTED. THE INVESTIGATION ONGOING.

  • AT 6:00 PM MNB SOUTH REPORTED THAT A PATROL DISCOVERED A UCK WEAPONS STORAGE SITE AT GORIC, NEAR MALISEVO. THE SITE WAS GUARDED BY 4 UCK ARMED MEMBERS WHO WERE DISARMED AND DETAINED. THE WEAPONS FOUNDS WERE 37 AK47, 45 SINGLE SHOT RIFLES, 1 MACHINE GUN, 2 ROCKET PROPELLED GRENADES LAUNCHERS, AMMUNITIONS AND GRENADES.

  • AT 8:30 PM MNB CENTRE REPORTED THAT A SENTRY HEARD 3 SHOTS NEAR THE TECHNICAL SCHOOL IN THE NORTHERN PART OF TOWN. A SEARCH WAS CONDUCTED AND A MAN WAS FOUND DEAD WITH 2 x SHOTS IN HIS SIDE. THE AREA WAS CORDONED OFF. A GUNMAN WAS IDENTIFIED MOVING INTO THE TECHNICAL SCHOOL. THE GUNMAN WAS SEEN AIMING HIS GUN AT THE PATROL AND A SOLDIER FIRED 3 SHOTS AT THE GUNMAN. THE GUNMAN WAS NOT HIT AND FLED ON FOOT. HE WAS NOT FOUND.

  • THERE WAS ANOTHER DEMONSTRATION AT THE METROVICA BRIDGE LAST NIGHT AT 10:00 PM WITH APPROXIMATELY 800 SERBS AND KOSOVAR ALBANIANS ON EACH SIDE OF THE BRIDGE. GENDARMES WERE ON THE SEEN. ONE ALBANIAN WAS ARRESTED FOR CARRYING A PISTOL. AT MIDNIGHT WARNING SHOTS WERE FIRED AND THE CROWD DISPERSED SHORTLY AFTER.

  • MNB EAST HAS REPORTED TWO WEAPON FINDS:

  1. AT 10:00 PM A HOUSE WAS SEARCHED IN VITINA IN SOUTHEAST KOSOVO. THE FOLLOWING WEAPONS WERE FOUND: 15 AK-47, 5 RIFLES, 3 SHOTGUNS, 5 HANDGUNS, 4 X RIFLES, 1 HEAVY MACHINE GUN, 6 GRENADES AND AMMUNITIONS. SERB MUP UNIFORMS WERE ALSO FOUND IN THE BUILDING. BUT NO ONE WAS THERE AND NO ARRESTS HAVE BEEN MADE.
  2. AND AT 10:30 LAST NIGHT, THERE WAS A BURST OF GUNFIRE IN VITINA NEAR A US PATROL. 3 INDIVIDUALS WERE SPOTTED RUNNING DOWN THE STREET. THE US PATROL GAVE CHASE AND FOUND 13 ETHNIC ALBANIANS OUTSIDE A HOUSE. A SEARCH OF THE HOUSE WAS CONDUCTED AND THE FOLLOWING WEAPONS WERE FOUND: 4 X AK-47, ONE RIFLE, AND 2 GRENADES. ALL 13 ARE BEING DETAINED FOR QUESTIONING.

FORTUNATELY THE NEWS IS NOT ALL NEGATIVE:

  • YESTERDAY, 180 ETHNIC SERBS RETURNED TO GORAZDEVA (7 KMS EAST OF PEC). THEY RETURNED FROM MONTENEGRO VIA THE KULINA PASS AT 7:15 PM. THEY TRAVELLED BY THEIR OWN MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION. THEY REACHED GORAZDEVAC AT 9:15 PM. ALTHOUGH THEY DID NOT ASK FOR PROTECTION KFOR PROVIDED AREA SECURITY BY INCREASING PATROLLING THE ROAD ON WHICH THEY WERE TRAVELLING. THERE WERE NO INCIDENTS.

  • THE ITALIAN BRIGAGE IS ALSO PROVIDING POTABLE WATER TO A PART OF PEC BECAUSE OF A LACK OF FRESH WATER SUPPLY. THE ITALIAN ENGINEERS ARE LOOKING AT A PERMANENT FIX FOR THIS PROBLEM.

  • MNB SOUTH OBTAINED CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL FROM MACEDONIA WORTH ABOUT 350,000 DEUTCH MARKS FOR MAKESHIFT REPARATION OF DESTROYED APARTMENTS.

  • MAJOR CIVIL MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN MNB SOUTH INCLUDE THE SUPPORT TO NGOS FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF CONSTRUCTION MATERIAL, TENTS, BLANKETS AND MATTRESSES. VILLAGE AND OUTPATIENT CLINIC ASSESSMENT CONTINUES WITH THE BRIGADE AREA. THE FIELD KITCHEN COMPANY WILL BE PROVIDING FOOD FOR REFUGEES AND RETURNEES STARTING TODAY. TASK FORCE PRIZREN WILL START A PROGRAM TO PROVIDE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSISTANCE TO TROUBLED CHILDREN IN KINDERGARDENS.

  • MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES:

IN ALBANIA, AFOR WILL HAVE A MEDIA OPPORTUNITY AT 12:30 PM IN KUKES FOR THE VISIT OF MR. MAJKO, HEAD OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT GROUP AND MR. UTKAN FROM THE UNHCR. FOR NOW MEDIA MUST MAKE THEIR OWN TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS. HOWEVER, SHOULD THERE BE ENOUGH INTEREST WE MAY BE IN A POSITION TO FREE A HELICOPTER. PLEASE LET US KNOW BY 3:00 PM IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN COVERING THIS EVENT.

ONE FINAL ANNOUCEMENT:

THERE WILL BE A CONTROLLED EXPLOSION CLOSE TO THE ROAD TO PEC, NEAR KOMORANE. AS A SAFETY PRECAUTION THE MAIN ROAD WILL BLOCKED FROM 1245 TO 1315.

THANK YOU,

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