Updated: 21 September 1999 KFOR Press Updates


21 Sept. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson

At 21:30 hrs yesterday at HQ KFOR, Lt. Gen. Jackson accepted the UCK's full compliance with the terms of the Undertaking, confirming that the demilitarization of the UCK is complete. UCK personnel will cease wearing uniform and UCK insignia from midnight today, and a new civilian organization with the full title of the Kosovo Protection Corps will be stood-up over the next 90 days to allow former UCK members to provide a highly-needed civilian emergency service.

This significant event, that occurred only 100 days after the arrival of KFOR in Kosovo, is another milestone in the security restoration process in which KFOR is actively involved for the well-being of all people in Kosovo.

A regrettable event occurred yesterday in Multinational Brigade East yesterday afternoon, when four children were killed and two wounded from a cluster bomb unit they had set off in a field near Mogila. One of the wounded children has been hospitalized and is now in satisfactory condition. The other has already been treated and released. Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams are currently searching the area for other potential threats.

There were several incidents in Kamenica yesterday. The 13th Tactical Group reported that a 400-gram bomb exploded on the third floor of a building, where both Albanian and Serb people live. Fortunately no injuries were reported and the bomb caused only minor damage. In another incident, KFOR Russian soldiers responding to a house fire discovered an 82-year-old Serb woman murdered in her home. Finally, a Russian patrol responding to a suspected incident involving looting and arson came under small arms fire from two separate groups. They returned fire and both groups fled from the scene. No arrests or injuries were reported.

A belated report from the brigade mentioned that on September 19th, a 70-year-old Albanian man shot another Albanian man over a land dispute in the area of Zitinje. The attacker was later beaten by the family of the victim. Both men had to be hospitalized as a result of this dispute.

This morning in Lipljan, in Multinational Brigade Centre, KFOR troops arrested a man after he had thrown a petrol bomb at an unoccupied house. The British soldiers rapidly extinguished the fire, which caused only minimal damage. The arsonist was turned over to UNMIK police.

In Pristina, sporadic small arms fire was heard during the evening yesterday although they were thought to be celebratory in nature.

A British KFOR truck was involved in a road traffic accident with a civilian vehicle yesterday, north of Urosevac. An unknown number of injured civilians were taken to hospital in Urosevac by a Greek KFOR ambulance.

So far 1052 UNHCR shelter kits have been delivered by brigade troops to the civilian population within the brigade area. This represents 50% of the total requirement.

On Sunday, Turkish KFOR soldiers rescued a kidnapped woman from a shed in the village of Tuzus, in Multinational Brigade South. The woman had been taken hostage on the 17th of September. The brigade also reported two separate hit-and-run road traffic accidents that cost the life of three people and injured two. Military Police are currently investigating these incidents.

Multinational Brigade North reported a quiet day apart from few incidents and escorts provided to incoming humanitarian convoys in support of the Serb Red Cross. An explosive ordnance disposal team successfully diffused a rocket and a mortar shell found in a field in Mitrovica, as part of their continuous efforts to clear mines and ordnance that pose an immediate threat to the population.

Finally, in Multinational Brigade West, a KFOR patrol arrested an Albanian man carrying a hand grenade in Pec yesterday evening.

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