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Updated: 6 October 1999 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

28 Aug. 1999

KFOR Press Statement

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson

Overview

Once again only a few incidents were reported for last 24 hours.

Pristina Airfield is now supporting up to 40 movements per day (a takeoff and landing being separate movements). This latest increase in capacity has been achieved one month ahead of schedule and has greatly helped our overall task. We recognize we are not up to full capacity yet, but will continue to make improvements in this direction. The daily movements are: 25% refugee returnee flights; 25% humanitarian aid; 35% military movements of KFOR Troops; and finally 15% in support of VIPs and other personnel visiting Kosovo from UN, KFOR, international and non-governmental organizations.

KFOR will continue looking to improve airfield operations and we will be discussing commercial flights with UNMIK. We intend to have commercial passenger flights as soon as it is technically possible. The Pristina airfield is a Joint venture under Russian and UK Air Force control but also in co-operation with UN operations. The work force and management are from the Kosovo community, with both Serb and Albanian employees.

At approximately 03:30 hrs last night an explosive device detonated at the Monument for Peace, in downtown Pristina. No casualties were reported and the monument only sustained minor damage to one its three pillars. KFOR troops, including an explosive ordnance disposal team, were sent to protect the site and investigate. Three other charges were removed from the monument and an investigation is underway.

In Pristina yesterday evening, a 9-year-old Albanian girl was injured in a hit-and-run car accident. KFOR soldiers apprehended the perpetrator and handed him over to UNMIK police.

Also in Multinational Brigade Centre, KFOR found the beaten body of a 35 to 40 year-old woman in the vicinity of Belo Polje yesterday. The unidentified woman apparently died three days ago.

Today the Multinational Brigade West area of responsibility starts a Dental Health Care Campaign. Dentists from the brigade, together with dentists from an Italian non-governmental organization specializing in children's health care, will visit all the villages within the brigade, providing assistance, lessons and dental material (toothpaste, toothbrush and dental floss). They will visit one village a day, aiming to teach children about proper dental hygiene.

Multinational Brigade East reported a calm situation over their area of operations. Altogether, five house fires occurred through the night: two Serb houses in Urosevac and three in Vitina, one of which was known to belong to a Serb while the ownership of the two others is not determined.

Yesterday evening, a hand grenade was thrown in a café in Gijlane. Fortunately, nobody was injured. The Military Police are investigating this attack.

On Sunday, August 29th, in Gonji Livoc, Task Force 1-77 AR will assist the locals in that community with cleaning up their stream/river of refuse. They will have trucks to cart the debris away, and will spend the day helping the citizens.

In Multinational brigade North, the situation remains calm. KFOR will reinforce its presence in Kosovo with the arrival of the Russian contingent, which is pursuing its deployment in its area of responsibility in Multinational Brigade North. 380 Russian soldiers are now based in the area of Device Monastery, near Srbica, and their number is expected to reach 492 within a few days. The commander of Multinational Brigade North welcomes their arrival, as it brings a significant number of qualified and highly trained soldiers to his area.

Yesterday in Prizren, in Multinational Brigade South, KFOR troops discovered the body of a 60 year-old Serb woman that had been killed approximately 48 hours ago. The Military Police are investigating.

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