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Updated: 29 October 1999 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

29 Oct. 1999

KFOR Press Update

Major Ole Irgens, KFOR Spokesman

Good morning. We have had a relatively quiet night, with the exception of several house fires. There have been house fires in every multinational brigade except East. We do not believe that all of these house fires are a result of arson attacks. Some of them might simply be caused by faulty electrical equipment. But still, KFOR will increase the patrol activity and especially look for any attempt on arson.

Let me also add some words on security, and what KFOR does to provide the necessary security and stability in Kosovo, and I can use Multinational Brigade Centre as an example. Every day, 200 soldiers and riflemen from the Royal Green Jackets are on guard positions at various locations throughout the brigade. They currently protect 35 religious buildings and patrol ethnic minority locations on a regular basis. Here in Pristina, two churches, the PTT building and the Centre for Peace and Tolerance are permanently protected. They also protect individuals in their homes in Podujevo. These are just examples. Throughout Kosovo KFOR troops make enormous efforts to ensure safety and security for everyone.

Yesterday a train, loaded with winterization material, had a successful trip from Pristina to Pec. This is the first time in two years that a train has visited Pec, so it was quite an attraction in the city. KFOR's role in this is to operate the train and to ensure the reliability of the train line. Yesterday's ride was a test trip, and does not signify the initiation of regular service.

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In Multinational Brigade East, an Albanian man, working for Mother Teresa NGO, reported to KFOR soldiers that another Albanian man had threatened him with a grenade. The house of the suspect man, located in Livoc, 4 km south of Gnjilane, was searched yesterday, in the morning. KFOR troops found 23 blasting cups, five grenades, three containers of black powder, five shotgun shells, one pistol, one flak jacket and one protective mask. All the items have been confiscated. One Albanian man and one Albanian woman was arrested for questioning, the woman was later released.

Yesterday afternoon, a grenade was found in a toilet in Vitina. KFOR patrol was sent on the scene to secure the area, while explosive ordnance disposal team removed the grenade and detonated it.

In Mogilja, a man was detained for curfew violation at 03:00 this morning. His house was searched, and two pistols, 150 rounds of ammunition were confiscated.

In Multinational Brigade Centre, a KFOR patrol found a body south of Maticane, 2km south east of Pristina, yesterday afternoon. The assistance of an explosive ordnance disposable team has been requested to clear the place. UNMIK Police will hand the case.

A KFOR patrol confiscated two shotguns at a vehicle checkpoint 5 km south east of Gracanica, yesterday afternoon. Two persons have been arrested and UNMIK Police is conducting the investigation.

24 families were left homeless after a fire in a block of flats in Pristina early this morning at 00:47 hrs. The fire was put out by the local fireservice, and there were no casualties.

A Serb man approached a Swedish KFOR location yesterday at 19:10 hrs and reported that an Albanian man had beaten him up. He was treated by soldiers from the Swedish battalion and transferred to hospital. UNMIK Police is investigating this incident.

Yesterday morning, in Multinational Brigade South, a KFOR patrol conducting a house search operation in Prizen found one pistol, two hand grenades and several rounds of ammunitions in the vicinity of the German KFOR camp. Items have been removed and will be destroyed.

Last night in Prizren, KFOR Military Police arrested a total of 15 persons for violating the curfew. In the same city, a Serb house was reported set on fire at 22:50 hrs yesterday.

KFOR troops in Multinational Brigade North provide assistance to UNMIK and the non-governmental organization US AID in order to restore electricity in Cabra, 8 km northwest of Mitrovica. This is an Albanian village that was completely destroyed by the Serbs last spring.

Last night at 21:55 hrs, a house was set on fire in Mitrovica. Firefighters and KFOR troops were sent to the scene to put out the fire. After that, KFOR troops searched the house and found one automatic pistol. At 23:30 in the same house, 5 Roma men were arrested when they tried to loot the house.

In Multinational Brigade West, two Serb houses were set on fire this night at 02:30 in the vicinity of Pec. The fire was put out by local firefighters.

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