|Updated: 13 October 1999||Press Conferences|
KFOR Press Update
by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson
While the security situation remained stable yesterday, KFOR units continued to provide help and assistance to local populations and to non-governmental organizations. In Budakovo (10 km east of Suva Reka) and in Macilevo (20 km north east of Prizren), engineer units are still working to rebuild schools. Explosive ordnance disposal teams continue the marking of mines and unexploded ordnance contaminated areas in Suva Reka, Jasic (10 km north west of Dakovica) and Slovinje (east of Gnjilane). Mine awareness lessons were also given by KFOR to non-governmental organizations, in order to prevent accidents and injuries.
Works at the Milosevo and Rakovina bridges are progressing well. On Thursday, Commander KFOR is expected to reopen the Milosevo bridge in the presence of hard-working engineers who have given a lot of efforts to have it repaired.
As you know, these are only examples. In fact all brigades are actively involved in a variety of projects in support of the local population.
In Multinational Brigade East, U.S. soldiers confiscated two rocket grenades, a VJ uniform, a gas mask, a flak vest and a hand grenade from three Serbian men in Mogila, 12 km south west of Gnjilane. The men were originally spotted harassing local Albanians and a patrol was sent to intervene. As the patrol approached, the three Serbians left the area in the direction of an abandoned barn where the items were found. The three men were taken into custody, and U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Specialists were contacted to dispose of the grenades.
A pistol was confiscated by U.S. soldiers after they broke up a fight between four Albanians in Urosevac yesterday morning. Through quick interventions such as this one, KFOR troops ensure law and order are increasingly respected in Kosovo.
Two SKS rifles, 348 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition and a grenade were confiscated from the house of a suspected arsonist in Urosevac at 3:15 hrs yesterday morning by U.S. Task Force 3-504th soldiers. The house's owner was taken to the Bondsteel Detention Facility.
In Multinational Brigade North, a drive-by shooting occurred yesterday afternoon in Banjska, 4 km northwest of Vucitrn, killing a 50 year-old Serb man. A United Arab Emirates battalion cordoned off the area and initiated an investigation. Initial reports reveal that the shots were fired by several men who fled the scene in a car.
Yesterday afternoon in southwest suburb of Mitrovica, a KFOR patrol from the French Infantry Battalion surprised four Albanians men beating a man and fleeing with the victim in the former UCK headquarters building. With reinforcement from the Gendarmerie, they searched the building and found a slightly injured 50 year-old Serb man. The victim issued a complaint and an investigation is ongoing.
In Multinational Brigade Centre, southwest of Pristina yesterday morning, four rifles launched grenades were fired in the direction of the Serb town of Suvi Do. One grenade hit a power pylon and slightly injured a man, while the three others hit the road without consequences. Witnesses reported they saw two cars fleeing the area shortly after the fires. A KFOR Finnish battalion is currently investigating that indiscriminate crime.
Yesterday afternoon in Pristina, a Norwegian soldier was slightly injured by an accidental discharge. Thankfully, he only suffered a flesh wound in the leg and he is recovering in Lipjan.
Today the Russian representative at SHAPE, in Brussels, Lieutenant-General Loginov, is visiting Multinational Brigade South to assess the current situation. He will address the media at 12:00hrs today in Orahovac. Although those who are here will not able to attend, you can get more information on this visit by phoning the brigade (Satphone: 00-871-761-717-247).
Yesterday morning, small arms fire was heard in the areas of Martinaj and Gorozuo, near the Albanian border west of Prizren, although no damage or injuries were reported. Multinational Brigade South closely monitors borders area in order to prevent undue outside influence on the security situation in Kosovo.
In Zahaq, 5 km east of Pec, Multinational Brigade West, about 800 people attended the authorized burial ceremony of 27 UCK members, killed during the hostilities. KFOR deployed a detachment to prevent any incident and the funeral ended peacefully at 13:30 hrs.
In three different occasions since yesterday, the brigade confiscated a total of three pistols and several rounds of ammunition at checkpoints and patrol controls.
A Montenegro truck driver reported yesterday evening that five men stopped his vehicle in Dakovica and took 670 DM from him. The brigade takes these kind of incidents very seriously and will not tolerate such activities. Individuals caught while conducting criminal activities will be arrested immediately.