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Updated: 29 November 1999 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

29 Nov. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Major Roland Lavoie, KFOR Spokesman

Throughout Kosovo yesterday, thousands of ethnic Albanians were celebrating their "Flag Day" in a peaceful and joyful fashion. The dignity of the
celebrations was an encouraging sign, for the people of Kosovo and the rest
of the world. After all that was done to the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo
during this whole decade, we fully understand the joy of the people and
their wish to celebrate.

However, it is totally unacceptable that such a celebration resulted in an
outbreak of hatred and violence as it did last night in Pristina. Shortly
after midnight, a crowd of people attacked three innocent Serbs. A man, his
wife and an elderly woman were pulled out of their car and assaulted before
the eyes of hundreds of people. As a result the man was shot dead and the
women were injured, while nobody around them dared to intervene.

Commander KFOR, General Dr. Reinhardt, expressed today that he was appalled with what happened here. "It unveils a basic lack of humanity and a rare degree of cowardliness and intolerance on the side of the attackers and
their supporters", he said earlier this morning.

Incidents like this can only stand in the way of Kosovo's development into a
democratic society. Commander KFOR strongly urges witnesses to co-operate with KFOR and UNMIK Police in order to help us to bring the murderers to justice very soon.


Two Kosovo Albanian men were reported killed and five other men suffered
gunshot wounds during a shooting in a Gnjilane bar, Multinational Brigade
East, shortly before midnight yesterday. Two UNMIK police members present in the bar were among the wounded. The perpetrator or perpetrators managed to escape in a car, but locals identified a man as a suspect. Military Police searched his house in the western part of Gnjilane. On the premises, the MP found four grenades, three automatic weapons and four uniforms of the former UCK. The weapons have been confiscated and four individuals were arrested.
The wounded people have been evacuated to Camp Bondsteel Hospital.

Yesterday afternoon, in Urosevac, a Kosovo Albanian man was evacuated to
Camp Bondsteel after he lost three fingers while manipulating a fuse, which
exploded in his hand. He is reported to be in stable condition.

In Dakovica, in Multinational Brigade West, yesterday evening, KFOR soldiers confiscated the weapon of a provisional KPC member who was shooting in the air. His weapon authorization card did not match the weapon he was carrying.

In Pec, yesterday morning, a Kosovo Albanian woman was slightly wounded by a gunshot while sitting in a café. She was evacuated to the hospital where she is reported to be in a stable condition. UNMIK Police are conducting an
investigation.

The Kosovo Police School in Vucitrn has located underground bunkers on the
school grounds. In order to ensure that the site is safe to continue
training activities, Multinational Brigade North has been asked to conduct a
risk assessment survey and, if necessary, to dispose of eventual ordinance
that might be found in the bunker complex. The clearance of these bunkers
will ensure the safe and continuous operation of the Police School. This
work will be done as soon as possible and in close co-ordination with UNMIK in order to allow the school to continue urgently needed police training with no risk to students and staff.

In Orahovac, in Multinational Brigade South, two Serb men were arrested
yesterday at 20:00 hrs after firing shots in the air. Two hand grenades and
two pistols were confiscated. A following house search in the homes of the
arrested led to the confiscation of one hand grenade and one magazine.

In Prizren, 56 people were temporarily detained yesterday night for breaking
the curfew. Also in Prizren, four house fires occurred during the night.

The body of an Albanian man, apparently killed by gunshots, was found
yesterday evening in Podujevo, in Multinational Brigade Centre. UNMIK
Police took over the investigation of this case. UNMIK Police also reported
the finding of the body of a woman, believed to be dead about one week, 7 km northeast of Pristina. UNMIK Police are also leading this investigation.

Over the last days, KFOR supported UNMIK in the task of resuming operations at the power stations. KFOR provided engineering expertise for the repairs and also fuel to restart units.


I was asked last Friday to comment on the relocation of prisoners from the
Prizren Detention Centre to Mitrovica. I can confirm that over the last two
days, KFOR transferred prisoners between Mitrovica and Prizren. Altogether
10 ethnic Albanians were moved from the Mitrovica detention facilities to
Prizren, and 11 Serbs and 3 Romas were transferred from Prizren to
Mitrovica. This was done in order to allow the gradual involvement of
ethnic Albanian employees in guarding duties in Prizren, where only Albanian
prisoners will be kept under the supervision of UNMIK and KFOR personnel.
Undue tension will therefore be avoided by having prisoners guarded by
personnel from the same ethnic background.

There are now five detention facilities in Kosovo, responsible for over 200
prisoners, including 160 ethnic Albanians and just over 40 members of ethnic
minorities. Two of these facilities, located in Pristina and Mitrovica, are
now under the control of UNMIK. KFOR is still in charge of detention
facilities located in Prizren, Pec and at Camp Bondsteel, although the
Prizren centre will be handed over to UNMIK within a few days. Eventually,
all detention facilities will fall under the responsibility of UNMIK.

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