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Updated: 29 November 1999 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

26 Nov. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesman

Good morning ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with an update of
KFOR’s support to the winterisation program in Kosovo.

As you know, in order to enter Kosovo, most winterisation materials have to
transit through the Deneral Jankovic bottle-neck, where KFOR has provided
traffic control to facilitate the passage of trucks. Also we have built and
opened in November the Blace by-pass to alleviate the impact of KFOR traffic on limited local infrastructure.

Within Kosovo, over the last months, we have cleared and repaired hundreds
of kilometres of roads and railroads, including six bridges which needed
heavy repairs.

As we speak, trucks are transporting firewood from Leposavic to Kosovo
Polje, for a total amount of 1000 cubic metres, or 100 truckloads in total
to be transported over a period of eight days. Last week, we assisted in
the distribution of 300 tons of winter seeds to minorities. Again yesterday,
winterisation materials were brought by helicopter to the remote village of
Potoc, in Multinational Brigade Centre.

These are only examples of a wide range of activities. Col Borrey, chief
CIMIC at KFOR, will be available to provide more information on this
important program.


At 19:10 hrs yesterday in Mitrovica, in Multinational Brigade North, a
speeding civilian car hit and slightly injured two soldiers at a crossing
point. The car later lost control and finished its course into a little
shop, where it hit a 10 to 12-year old boy who subsequently died from his
injuries. Military Police and UNMIK Police are currently looking for the
vehicle.

Shortly after midnight this morning, a driver brought a dying man to the
brigade headquarters. Apparently the man was recovered from the scene of a
car accident in the vicinity of Mitrovica. He died at the arrival the
ambulance. UNMIK Police was informed and has started an investigation.

Multinational Brigade North reported that, over the last months, they have
assessed humanitarian needs in 2000 villages. This valuable information has
been provided to UNHCR in order to help them to provide quick and efficient
help to those in need.

During the last 10 days, the brigade transported twelve truckloads of
winterisation material per day for the non-governmental organisation World
Vision in the areas of Skendraj and Vucitrn. This effort represents 100 tons
of urgently needed material for preparing damaged houses for winter.

The MNB North Russian battalion supported the NGO ADRA in the delivery of reconstruction material to the Albanian village of Drenica. Two Russian
trucks and one French truck delivered bags of cement. In the coming weeks,
they will continue to deliver construction material such as tiles, bricks
and sand to repair the village’s damaged houses.

Yesterday, the French engineering battalion started the destruction of a
damaged bridge in Pestovo, south of Vucitrn, to avoid flooding of the
surrounding villages in case of sudden collapse. This operation will
continue this afternoon and a media are invited to visit the site this
afternoon at 14:30hrs. More information will be posted on our board.

In Istok, in Multinational Brigade West, two explosions were heard during
the night but no damage or injuries were found by patrols dispatched to
investigate.

The brigade also reported, yesterday morning, the confiscation of one AK-47
and rounds in Susika, 9 km north-east of Istok.

A brigade explosive ordnance disposal team intervened yesterday in Pristina,
in Multinational Brigade Centre, to remove hand-grenades apparently
abandoned in a bloc of flats.

The brigade also reported sporadic bursts of small arms north of the
boundary.

During a house search operation yesterday morning in Ljubizda, near Prizren
in Multinational Brigade South, KFOR troops confiscated one carbine, two
pistols, two tear-gas grenades and several rounds of ammunition.

During the last 24 hours a total of six individuals attempted to enter
Kosovo illegally from Albania. They all returned back when found by KFOR
patrols, which are actively involved in border and boundary surveillance in
all brigades.

Multinational Brigade East reported a calm day and night in their area of
operation. Yesterday, the brigade conducted a medical evacuation of a man
from Gnjilane Hospital to the 67th Combat Support Hospital in Camp
Bondsteel. The man was suffering from a leaking aorta and had to be handed
over to KFOR specialised doctors.

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