Updated: 25 October 1999 KFOR Press Updates


23 Oct. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Ole Irgens, KFOR Spokesman

Yesterday, the new NATO Secretary General, the Right Honorable Lord Robertson visited KFOR Main Headquarters Kosovo with the 19 members of the North Atlantic Council (NAC), accompanied by the Chairman of the Military Committee, Admiral Guido Venturoni and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Wesley Clark.

This visit has been an opportunity for these NATO decision-makers to meet with the Special Representative of the Secretary General, Dr. Kouchner, Commander KFOR General Dr. Reinhardt, and Kosovo community leaders from all ethnic background. They later met with officials of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on their way back to Brussels.

During a news conference held in KFOR Main Headquarters, in Pristina, NATO Secretary General acknowledged that "the first steps to a peaceful future are being taken". He also stressed: "The leaders of all the ethnic groups must show the way in creating a new climate of reconciliation and tolerance. The ethnic groups in Kosovo must work together. There is no other way (…) Those who have been able to return should not repeat the injustice that has been done to them (…) NATO intervened in Kosovo to stop Milosevic from creating a single-ethnic state. NATO will not stand by and see the creation of a single-ethnic Kosovo."

Three civilians were killed and one injured yesterday when a US Army heavy equipment vehicle was involved in a road traffic accident in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, 5 kilometers south of the Deneral Jankovic border crossing point. US military police were present shortly after the accident to work with the Macedonian police. No KFOR soldiers were hurt in the accident.

A 34-year-old American soldier died Thursday in Camp Bondsteel, Multinational Brigade East, after being found critically injured from an apparent gunshot to the head. A ramp service was held yesterday at the camp for the deceased.

A woman reported she had found a dead body outside Vitina to a U.S. Patrol in the area at about 15:30 hrs yesterday. On investigation, the patrol found human remains in a marked unexploded ordnance site. An explosive ordnance disposal team will assist in the removing of the remains.

An American soldier injured another soldier yesterday when his weapon accidentally discharged during cleaning. The bullet from the weapon ricocheted and struck the other soldier in the right calf. The wounded soldier was evacuated by helicopter to the 67th Combat Support Hospital in Camp Bondsteel, and is reported to be recovering well.

Three men were detained for questioning after the shooting of a 64-year old Albanian man in Mogila, 10 km south-west of Gnjilane, Thursday at 21:00 hrs. The man was wounded and taken to hospital in Vitina. A KFOR patrol was dispatched and found the three men at the scene of the shooting. One of them had a pistol, which was confiscated.

A 73 year-old man lost both his legs when he stepped on a mine in the area of Dakovica, Multinational Brigade West, yesterday at 21:00. The man was evacuated to the civilian hospital.

A man was stopped and a pistol confiscated in a KFOR vehicle checkpoint in Klina at 23:00 hrs yesterday.

KFOR troops performed two search operations in Istok and the nearby village Vrela on Thursday, resulting in the seizure of 5 pistols, 9 mortar grenades, 3 rifle grenades, 3 handgrenades, 1 antitank mine, 454 gas masks and ammunition. A total number of 16 people have been arrested and Spanish Military Police is carrying out the investigations. In another search operation in Klina, KFOR soldiers confiscated 12 antitank mines, 7 rocket launchers and 10 detonators.

A civilian reported to a KFOR patrol yesterday that he had found three corpses in his garden in the village of Dolovo, 6 km south of Klina. The corpses have probably been lying there for 5 to 6 months. Investigations will start today.

Three children were killed and one injured in a mine accident in Pecane, 3 km North of Suva Reka, Multinational Brigade South, Thursday afternoon at 16:30. The injured child was taken to the hospital in Prizren. UNMIK Police are investigating.

Yesterday, Dutch and German KFOR military police arrested two people, who were attempting to leave Kosovo. The persons are suspected for serious crimes, and were taken to Prizren for further investigation.

Three house fires were reported in Prizren, two of them occurring in houses inhabited by a Roma family and a Serbian family.

One pistol and one 9-mm machine gun were confiscated in a car search in Dobrcane, 9 km east of Gnjilane, yesterday. The driver's house was searched, and 2 AK-47 machineguns were found.

One KFOR soldier and three civilians were slightly injured when a train hit an American "Humvee" vehicle at 19:00 hrs yesterday, 1 km southwest of Vucitrn, Multinational Brigade North. The injured were taken to the French medical facility in Mitrovica, but released shortly after.

In Mitrovica a KFOR patrol intercepted four looters at the battery factory shortly after midnight. UNMIK Police was notified and conducted the investigation. After questioning, the four individuals were released.

KFOR soldiers yesterday provided escort assistance to the World Vision NGO, that delivered clothes to the Roma district of Mitrovica, and ACT AID that delivered parts for agricultural machinery in the area of Priluzje, 10 km south east of Vucitrn.

Yesterday at 13:50 hrs, KFOR soldiers from the Norwegian Telemark Battalion found the body of an approximately 60 year-old woman in the village of Besinje, 9 km north of Pristina, Multinational Brigade Center. She was apparently shot one week ago. UNMIK Police will conduct further investigations.

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