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Updated: 6 October 1999 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

5 Sept. 1999

KFOR Press Statement

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson

As usual, KFOR troops had much to do over the last 24 hours. Although some regrettable incidents occurred, including the death of a truck driver near Mitrovica, KFOR troops conducted several successful operations such as a rescue operation, the arrest of a rape suspect and the clearance of grenades and unexploded ordnance.

In early evening yesterday, in downtown Pristina, a KFOR Explosive Ordnance Disposal team conducted a controlled explosion of hand grenades found on the ground.

Yesterday at 6:05 in Dobrotin, 12 km south of Pristina in Multinational Brigade Centre, a Finnish patrol reported the firing of seven mortar rounds and small arm fire in their patrolling area. A quick reaction force and a helicopter were deployed and found the mortar base plate in the nearby village of Smolusa. The attackers had already left the location and an investigation is ongoing to identify the perpetrators. No casualties or significant damage were reported as a result of this incident.

In late evening yesterday, KFOR troops arrested a 25 year-old man suspected of raping an Albanian woman. The investigation has been handed over to the UNMIK Police.

This morning KFOR reported a fire on the Plementina bridge, northwest of Pristina. No more information is available at this time concerning the condition of the bridge. An investigation is ongoing.

In Multinational Brigade South, a KFOR Explosive Ordnance Disposal team successfully cleared two 500 pound bombs near Prizren yesterday. In order to ensure public safety local traffic was interrupted and 3000 local inhabitants were temporarily evacuated. The operation was completed at 22:30 hrs without incidents.

KFOR Russian and Dutch engineers conducted a joint rescue operation yesterday afternoon in the village of Crnovrane, 4 km west of Malisevo, when a flood caused by heavy rain destroyed two houses and threatened to cause more damage. In one single family, one woman was killed, while one child and two grandparents were injured. The rescue team provided first aid and evacuated the injured.

Yesterday, KFOR reported two explosions which were heard at 01:20 in the northern part of Pec, in Multinational Brigade West. Since then further investigation revealed that the explosions were caused by two anti-tank rockets fired in the vicinity of the Pec Patriarchate. Some damage was reported in the area although the Patriarchate has not been touched.

Multinational Brigade North reported sporadic small arm fire yesterday evening in Mitrovica and a rocket attack against a civilian truck early this morning on the road between Mitrovica and Leposavic. The driver, an ethnic Albanian man, died during the attack and a passenger was slightly injured. She was quickly evacuated by brigade forces to the French military hospital in Mitrovica. An investigation is ongoing with a French Explosive Ordnance Disposal team supporting theGendarmerie.

In Multinational Brigade East, a Gnjilane city bus was hit by a rocket propelled grenade fired from the vicinity of Ranilug yesterday evening. Two Albanian civilians were slightly injured and evacuated to Gnjilane hospital by other civilians. The brigade also reported a hit-and-run road traffic accident in Gnjilane, which injured an 11 year-old child.

In Dosljasi, the brigade is currently investigating break-in attempts reported in several houses and schools. Nothing has been reported missing yet but KFOR wants to prevent all crimes, including looting attempts and other offences.

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