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Updated: 17 August 1999 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

16 Aug. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson

Overview

For the third consecutive day, the level of violence has decreased in Kosovo areas of operations. This is an encouraging sign, although criminal activity continues to be much higher than what is acceptable in a free and democratic society. Over the last few days, we have seen an increasing number of offenders arrested following investigations by KFOR Military Police. KFOR will pursue security operations and we will maintain a high level of patroling in order to improve and consolidate Kosovo's security environment.

Multinational Brigade Centre

  • Today, about 200 Serb railway workers are due to return to work at the Kosovo Polje railway yards. Currently the railway is run by UNMIK and KFOR using a mixed workforce of Serbs and ethnic Albanians. British KFOR troops from 79 Railway Squadron Royal Logistics Corps currently run the trains south to Deneral Jankovic and local workers operate the trains from Kosovo Polje North to Leska (north of Mitrovica). In mid-September 79 Squadron will hand over to the Italian Railway Regiment. Most of the lines around the rest of the country are out of order due to neglect or war damage. KFOR, with the help of local Serbs and ethnic Albanian workers, are currently working to repair the network. KFOR welcomes the return of more workers, which will increase our ability to improve the rail network for the benefit of all citizen of Kosovo. This is another example of KFOR and UNMIK working hand in hand with the local population to improve the quality of life and return to a secure and stable environment.
  • Yesterday, an Albanian man attempted to stop the abduction of two women. As a result he was taken and later found with a gunshot wound in the chest. A search operation was conducted in a building near the crime site and KFOR confiscated one AK-47, several ID cards and communication equipment. Three individuals were detained and an investigation in ongoing.
  • Early last night in Pristina, KFOR troops investigating a reported break in found one elderly woman dead. This cowardly murder is under investigation.

Multinational Brigade North

  • Today the French armored squadron will provide clothes and other essential equipment to the Kosovo population in Drahvo and Sipolje. The items were collected by French military family charity organization under the 21st Marine Commando Regiment.

Multinational Brigade South

  • The brigade continues to support major housing repair projects Musutiste (896 homes), and the villages of Daris, Muzlak, Lubizda, Recane, Gorne Lubinje and Gorne Mali.
  • In the villages east of Suva Reka. The brigade is concentrating on the winterization of houses above 700-meter elevations. 143 houses are being repaired as part of this high-priority winterization program.
  • In Landovica over 200 homes are about to be repaired as a part of the "Bauhof" program where KFOR together with the citizens is assessing the need in building material. After this assessment, the citizens can go to the "Bauhof", collect the construction material and start repairing their homes.
    Those interested in covering this program are invited to participate in our media opportunity on August 19th, which is announced on the KFOR information board.
  • Yesterday evening a drive-by shooting was reported in Prizren. Nobody was injured and the search for the attackers is ongoing.
  • Yesterday evening, three ethnic Albanians were arrested when caught during a looting attempt in an apartment in Prizren.
  • In Lesane, near Suva Reka, two men were arrested for carrying one AK-47, two hand grenades and a small amount of ammunition.
  • This morning a KFOR German Engineer Battalion started repairing the main road between Prizren and Orahovac.

Multinational Brigade East

  • The brigade Explosive ordnance disposal teams cleared two warehouses in the Vitina area that will be used by Mother Theresa Society and Feed the Children. KFOR and NGOs have already cleared a significant amount of mines and unexploded ordnance, including: 979 anti-personnel mines, 683 anti-tank mines, 30 missiles, 169 rockets, 21 bombs, 1844 bomblets, 44 cluster bomb units, 582 mortar rounds, 101 kg of bulk explosive and nearly 3000 grenades.
  • Yesterday evening, a KFOR Russian patrol came under small arm fire from a hill to the north of their position. An armored personnel carrier immediately responded with automatic fire and the attackers abandoned their attempt. Active patrolling is being conducted in the area in order to track the attackers.

Multinational Brigade West

  • This weekend, Radio West 97 FM started broadcasting from the KFOR Pec compound. Radio West, a news and music radio, can be heard 24 hours per day in a 50-km radius from Pec. The broadcast is done in Italian, English, Albanian and Serb. Spanish and Portuguese programs will be added within a few weeks.
  • Today at 14:00 hrs, in the area of Dejani, KFOR will help the local population and NGO workers to install a new telegraph pole. Two military cranes and one truck with specialized military technicians will transport and hoist the pole, which will be used to restore telephone services in the area of Peja.
  • KFOR Royal Engineers (UK) continue to oversee the operation of Kosovo A and Kosovo B power plants in Pristina. One of the five units of Kosovo A is functional and provides 120 megawatts of energy. Repairs are ongoing on the four remaining units. The provision of electricity, although a public utility in nature, has contributed to the establishment of a secure environment in Kosovo.

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