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Updated: 2 September 1999 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

2 Sept. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson

The steady improvement in the security situation faltered yesterday with brutal attacks reported in Multinational Brigade West and Centre.

Yesterday morning the local population reported the murder of a Roma family of four in a house in Gornji Dragoljevci, 2 km southeast of Istok in Multinational Brigade West. KFOR Military police went to investigate and confirmed the death from gun shots of a father, mother, daughter and an elderly woman. The investigation continues to track those who committed such an appalling attack.

Also yesterday morning, a French patrol found an ambushed car near Ljosepici at the eastern limit of the Multinational Brigade West area of operations. There were three Serbs in the car - one had been killed, one was injured and one had no injuries. The injured was taken to the French hospital in Mitrovica and a Spanish Military Police patrol was dispatched to investigate.

Yesterday evening in Multinational Brigade Centre, a grenade attack against a Serb house in Lipjan injured the three occupants, including one woman considered to be in a serious condition. The Finnish battalion evacuated the casualties to Lipjan and stepped-up their patrols overnight to secure the area. A full investigation is ongoing.

Two demonstrations occurred in the Brigade area of operations yesterday. The first one occurred in Plementina, 3 km south of Pristina, where a peaceful protest became more tense as a result of a road traffic accident during which an Albanian driver hit a female pedestrian. Although no serious injuries were reported, the Kings' Royal Hussars intervened to calm the situation and prevent a confrontation between Serbs and Albanians.

Another demonstration occurred in Gracanica following an alleged kidnapping of a Serb miller. Approximately 250 Serbs blocked the road at two points with the intent to deny Albanians access to the city. This morning, only a few people remain at the site and the 1 Irish Guard Regiment is monitoring the situation in order to avoid ethnic clashes and allow partial road movement. Six people have been injured during the demonstration although no serious casualties were reported.

Early this morning, the 1 Royal Irish Regiment stopped a car at a checkpoint south of Pristina and found that the back seat passenger was suffering gunshot wounds to the legs. The Albanian man has been evacuated to Pristina Hospital for treatment, where he was later reported missing. This incident is currently under investigation.

Finally, a female was arrested for arson at Slovinge, 10 km south of Pristina. The fire she just ignited was rapidly extinguished by the local fire service and she is currently held for questioning by the Royal Military Police.

In Multinational Brigade East, the situation was quiet yesterday.

The Brigade reported that a Greek soldier was shot in the wrist Tuesday in Kosare, when he dropped his weapon, causing an accidental discharge his 9mm pistol. He is now in stable condition at Camp Bondsteel and will be held for observation three to four days.

In two different search operations Tuesday, Polish troops found weapons in the area of Strpce. They confiscated one Thompson sub-machine gun, two bolt-action rifles, four magazines and more than 700 rounds. These successful searches were made possible thanks to the cooperation of local citizens.

A M1A1 Abrams Tank and a civilian car were involved in a traffic accident in Kamenica at 9.50 p.m., Tuesday. A civilian who suffered light injuries was treated by the soldiers of the tank and a Russian patrol on the scene.

Since Monday, August 30th, Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) teams of the Foreign Legion Engineers Battalions cleared 9 schools, as part of the 70 establishments that are planned to be cleared for the moment in Multinational Brigade North. As of now, more than 2000 anti-personal mines, 100 anti-tank rockets, 760 various ammunitions, 20 air ground missiles and more than 1000 lbs of explosive have been defused in the north area of responsibility by French KFOR EOD teams.

Multinational Brigade South reported a calm situation yesterday all over their area of operations.

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