Updated: 15 November 1999 KFOR Press Updates


13 Nov. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesman

The ATR-42 aircraft operated by the United Nations World Food Programme, which has been missing since 12:15 Friday, was located by a KFOR search team at 22:45 hrs on Friday night. The plane has crashed into a steep hillside 12 km northeast of Mitrovica. All the 24 people aboard, including three aircrew members, were found dead upon arrival of a rescue team.

The bodies of the victims are now being transferred to Pristina hospital. The flight recorder of the aircraft has been recovered and investigation teams from France and Italy are expected to arrive in Kosovo today.

Commander KFOR visited the crash site this morning and offered his condolences to the families and friends of the victims. "This tragic accident hit men and women who came here to help the people of Kosovo to build a better future", he said. "No efforts were spared to search and rescue the victims but the violence of the impact gave no chance to those aboard."

KFOR will provide the investigators with all available information and logistic support that they may require. We have also offered to repatriate the bodies and support family visits to Kosovo in coordination with the other agencies involved.

At this time, we don't have any indication as to what could have caused the crash.

More information on this UN World Food Programme flight and its passengers will be made available by UNMIK after notification of next of kin.

In Multinational Brigade East, KFOR soldiers stopped a man carrying $20,000 counterfeit US Dollars at a traffic control point in Urosevac shortly before 09:00 hrs yesterday morning. The man is being held at the detention facility.

Yesterday at 14:00 hrs, KFOR soldiers detained a Serb man suspected of committing murder in Mogila on April 11th this year. His house was searched and a VJ uniform was found.

At 22:40 hrs last night, a KFOR train hit one civilian car. However, no injuries were reported.

In Multinational Brigade West yesterday morning, a quick reaction force detained a man in Pec after hearing gunshots near the brigade headquarters. The man was in possession of a rifle, a mortar grenade and cartridges, which were confiscated.

At 13:45 hrs yesterday in Istok, an explosion occurred in a restaurant owned by a Serb. No injuries were reported and the brigade is currently investigating this apparent criminal attack.

Multinational Brigade South is supporting two important humanitarian projects in their area of operation, through the provision of transport assets and security. The first one is lead by the International Organisation for Migration, which will distribute 15,000 m2 of firewood in cooperation with provisional members of the Kosovo Protection Corps, starting Monday, November 15th. The other project is sponsored by, GTZ, a German society for technical cooperation, which is launching a 35,000 DM project to buy and distribute sheep in MNB South villages.

In Multinational Brigade North yesterday, a KFOR patrol came under fire near the boundary with Serbia. The patrol returned fire before breaking contact with the aggressors. An investigation team was dispatched to the site later in order to look for evidence that might help to identify the aggressors.

Shortly after 01:00 hrs this morning shots were fired during a fight at the Bar 1389 in Gracanica. Multinational Brigade Centre deployed 40 soldiers in support of UNMIK Police, which arrested three individuals and confiscated one pistol.

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