Updated: 18 October 1999 KFOR Press Updates


17 Oct. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson

Yesterday, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Dr. Kouchner, and Commander KFOR, General Dr. Reinhardt, met with representatives of the Independent Student Union to discuss the opening of the University of Pristina, including all faculties in Mitrovica, to all students in Kosovo. All agreed that this was a fundamental objective in keeping with the spirit of UN Security Council Resolution 1244. To achieve this goal, it was agreed to work together to collect the facts and to find an urgent solution involving all parties.

Yesterday afternoon in Pristina, Multinational Brigade Center, a unidentified couple was shot during a drive-by shooting conducted by two unknown people driving a car without license plates. The man was evacuated to Pristina hospital and pronounced dead on arrival. His wife is at the hospital under the UNMIK Police protection and is in a stable condition. UNMIK police are investigating this case.

A commemorative ceremony authorized to take place in Donje Obrinje, took place instead in Gornje Obrinje, at 13:30 hrs yesterday. Among the 350 people who attended this event, 15 were seen in KPC uniforms, 5 were wearing former UCK uniforms and a few were carrying pistols. This gathering is a clear violation of the Undertaking for demilitarization and transformation and related agreements. KFOR is not going to tolerate such actions of non-compliance. An investigation is underway and subsequent action will be taken as appropriate.

A petrol bomb was thrown at a Serb house north of Kosovo Polje yesterday evening. The occupants were not at home at the time of the attack and no significant damage was caused. UNMIK Police are investigating what appears to be an intimidation attempt.

Four explosions were heard in the northern part of Mitrovica, in Multinational Brigade North, yesterday at 19:30 hrs. A patrol was immediately sent and found a small quantity of unexploded explosives. No injuries were reported as a result of this incident, which caused only minor damage to nearby houses. Explosive Ordnance Disposal experts are helping the police investigation.

As part of their ongoing mine clearing operations, KFOR troops in the brigade are pursuing the clearing of schools. Since the beginning of the operation, 39 schools have been inspected.

In two separate law and order interventions yesterday, at border control in St. Kacanik, in Multinational Brigade West, two cars were stopped and searched, and KFOR troops confiscated total of 650 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition. The driver's identification was checked and they were returned to Albania.

Since yesterday in Dakovica, 15 KPC candidates are cleaning the downtown of litter and debris that accumulated over the last months. KFOR supports this operation with 30 people and vehicles in order to improve life conditions in the city.

In Klina, KFOR Portuguese medical personnel are continuing the vaccination campaign started last week. Italian medical personnel are conducting a similar campaign in Gorazdevac. Many children will benefit from this campaign.

In Dakovica, 280 students started a mine awareness program in a local school. The brigade provides regular briefings on the dangers related to mines and unexploded ordnance in an effort to prevent avoidable casualties.

The Italian logistics battalion is heavily involved in the winterization program. Its members delivered 6,300 roof tiles yesterday in the mountainous village of Drelje, 15 km northwest of Pec.

In Multinational Brigade South, in two different incidents yesterday, patrols intercepted four individuals who were attempting to cross illegally the border form Albania to Kosovo. One was detained for questioning and the other three fled back to Albania.

At noon yesterday, a hit-and-run road traffic accident occurred in Prizren and injured a woman. The vehicle was recognized later by KFOR German troops, who arrested the driver and handed him over to UNMIK Police, which is gradually taking over responsibility for policing operations in Prizren.

In three separate incidents, KFOR German patrols intervened during looting attempts and arrested on scene a total of nine individuals, who were handed-over to Military Police.

At a checkpoint in Dulje, between Pristina and Suva Reka, KFOR Austrian troops arrested one man suspected of kidnapping and raping. He was handed-over to UNMIK Police for further questioning.

The situation remained calm yesterday in Multinational Brigade East, where the brigade nevertheless grants priority to security and law and order operations.

Starting today, Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesperson, can be reached on a new mobile phone during the day at: ++ 389-702-550-58.

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