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Updated: 20 August 1999 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

20 Aug. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson

Overview

The last 24 hours were generally quiet - a hot day with very few significant incidents. Our concern remains isolated incidents here and there involving shootings and grenade attacks. KFOR troops will continue to be proactive in its campaign against criminal acts and its efforts to improve the welfare of all people of Kosovo.

I would like to reiterate that KFOR troops, in coordination with the international police, are the only legitimate law and order force in Kosovo. There should be no reason for anyone to believe that they can commit criminal acts unhindered. KFOR troops will use all available resources in their efforts to reduce the tension and accompanying criminal behaviour. KFOR's proactive patrol programme together with the UNIP is creating a more secure environment for all elements of Kosovo society. We will not become complacent and the highly trained and experienced KFOR soldiers will continue this high level of active patrolling for the benefit of all.

Now, let's have a look at each brigade for a summary of significant events.

Yesterday evening in Pristina, KFOR troops arrested two individuals (ethnic Albanians) who were seen throwing a grenade on a balcony in a block of Serb apartments. An investigation is ongoing, including the search for evidences at the apartment of the two criminals. There is no report of damage or injuries resulting from this attack. Multinational Brigade Centre also reported that small amounts of weapons were handed in to KFOR troops during the last 24 hours.

Since the reopening of the Pristina Airport on July 6th, a total of 319 aircraft landed in Pristina. These flights fulfilled a variety of purposes, including military transport and delivery of urgent cargo. Twenty four flights were bringing back refugees returning to their homeland in Kosovo

Today at 1400 in Stimlje soldiers for 2 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers will be handing over a school and clinic that they have been repairing using material bought with donations of 14000 Marks from the soldiers and families of Fallingbostel.

As part of its continuing commitment to providing a secure and stable environment in Kosovo, KFOR soldiers from Multinational Brigade South, conducted a planned search operation in the area of Orahovac. At 10 o'clock this morning they arrested 3 men suspected of involvement with serious crimes.

One a separate operation, two individuals were arrested in Prizren yesterday for illegal occupation of an apartment belonging to a Serb family.

The brigade also reported that a German Explosive Ordnance Team conducted a controlled explosion of one ton of ammunition from a Multinational Brigade (South) weapon storage site.

Multinational Brigade (East) also reported a very quiet day. Good news for this area: The United States Agency for International Development, represented by Mr. Brady Anderson presented a check for $3000 to the Pasajane town council. This money will be used towards the purchase of much-needed medical supplies in this area. USAID controls over $7 Billion dollars that it invests throughout the world, including here in Kosovo.

Yesterday evening in Stoberce, at the Albanian border in Multinational Brigade (West), two teenagers were injured by mines. One of them was badly injured at a foot and the other only slightly. An EOD team was immediately dispatched on board a helicopter with specialized crew. They entered the minefield, took the teenagers out and transported them to Pristina Hospital. A KFOR border checkpoint reported that the individuals were warned not to walk outside hard surfaces but their advice was not taken seriously.

This morning at about 0400 hrs, small arms shots were heard in Gjakova. A patrol was dispatched to a hous where they were met by drunken individuals who after a verbal exchange attacked the soldiers with fists, kicks and weapon discharges. The soldiers fired warning shots and eventually shot one of the aggressors in the leg. The male plus 2 other males already injured before the incident were taken to the Hospital for treatment.

Also in MNB(West), the bell of destroyed Ortodox Church in TRENOVAC has been successfully recovered. Ten Italian soldiers from 18th Bersaglieri Regiment, recovered the bell by using a crane provided by 10th Engineer Regiment. This morning, in a public ceremony, the Commanding Officer 18th Bersaglieri Regt will handover the bell.

MNB( North) remained quiet with no incidents to report.

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