Updated: 22 November 1999 KFOR Press Updates


21 Nov. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesman

Pristina Airport closed for civilian traffic: Yesterday, the French Air Accident Investigation Bureau, who are looking in to the crash of the World Food Programme ATR-42 aircraft north of Pristina on November 12th, issued a preliminary recommendation that civilian air traffic operating in to, and out of, Pristina Airport be temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure. The recommendation arises from the possibility of misinterpretation between NATO military air traffic procedures and terminology and the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) equivalent that is used in purely civilian operations. Having considered the interim recommendation carefully, UNMIK and KFOR believe it prudent to implement it immediately. Civilian flights will remain suspended until a review has been carried out of the procedures in use at Pristina Airport. Representatives of ICAO will arrive in Pristina early next week to assist in this effort. In the meantime, the full investigation into the cause, or causes, of the accident continues. Military aircraft will continue to operate the airport as normal.

Kosovo Railway Network reopens: This afternoon, Commander KFOR will inaugurate the reopening of the Kosovo Railway Network. The railway network has been repaired by the Italian Railway Regiment and is a significant contribution from Italy to the reconstruction and the return to normality in Kosovo. The network will enhance the capability to deliver goods already brought into Kosovo by KFOR from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

From a security perspective, the Kosovo situation remained stable yesterday and overnight.

A tragic accident occurred yesterday at 10:00 hrs on the road between Zubin Potok and Cabra, in Multinational Brigade North, when a man was hit on the road by a KFOR tank. UNMIK Police are conducting an investigation.

A demonstration occurred yesterday afternoon in Mitrovica, when a total of 200 people gathered on each side of the bridge, some of them throwing stones. In order to prevent a clash, Multinational Brigade North closed the access to the bridge and took position between the two groups. No significant injuries were reported, and the situation returned to normal at approximately 15:20 hrs.

Yesterday evening in Silovo, in Multinational Brigade East, a woman was injured in an accident between her vehicle and a KFOR vehicle. The woman was subsequently evacuated to Pristina hospital.

KFOR troops had to intervene and fire warning shots after some civilian unrest broke out following a road traffic accident in Kamenica yesterday at 13:35 hrs. The accident involved three cars and one truck, and a crowd of 60 Serbs and Kosovo Albanians gathered. Finally the crowd dispersed, and several people were detained.

Three British KFOR soldiers were only slightly injured in a road traffic accident in Dobrotin, Multinational Brigade Centre, this night at 00:40 hrs. No other vehicles were involved.

An abandoned house belonging to two Roma families in Pec, Multinational Brigade West, was set on fire yesterday at 23:10 hrs. KFOR fire-fighters were sent to the scene to extinguish the fire.

Yesterday at 10:15 hrs a grenade explosion occurred in Dubovo. A KFOR patrol investigated the incident, and found that a hand grenade had been thrown against a bookstall. No injuries were reported.

Seven looters were arrested by KFOR troops in Prizren, Multinational Brigade South, yesterday at 13:15 hrs. The people were stealing firewood and
furniture from an abandoned house, and were handed over to UNMIK Police.

Several people tried to illegally cross the border from Albania to Kosovo
yesterday at the Morina border crossing point. KFOR intervened and prevented them from entering Kosovo.

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