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Updated: 03-Jan-2000 KFOR Press Updates

Pristina,
Kosovo

30 Dec. 1999

KFOR Press Update

by Lieutenant-Commander Philip Anido KFOR Spokesman

Land mine injures KFOR Russian troops

Two KFOR Russian soldiers were injured yesterday morning shortly after 10 a.m. when their wheeled tank hit a landmine near Kamenica, Multinational Brigade East. One soldier suffered shrapnel wounds to the head and was evacuated to US KFOR Camp Bondsteel for treatment. He is resting comfortably. A KFOR Russian doctor treated the second soldier at the scene for minor bruises.

Multinational Brigade East sealed off the site and a team of engineers and explosive ordnance disposal experts began their investigation this morning.

Focus on Serb Community in Orahovac

The Commander KFOR, General Dr Klaus Reinhardt, will visit the Serb community in Orahovac next week to meet with leaders and to look for measures to improve their living conditions.

"It is in my interest that the Serbs remain in Orahovac, that their safety is assured and that their living conditions are improved," says Gen. Reinhardt. "KFOR will provide tight security for all citizens of the town especially on New Year's Eve."

In order to enhance the freedom of movement of the Serbs, a twice-weekly bus service between Mitrovica and Orahovac will be established.

New Year's Eve Security

Tight security will be in effect throughout Kosovo on New Year's Eve. The Commander of KFOR, General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, appeals to all citizens to enjoy the celebration as peacefully as they did on Christmas Eve.

Events and incidents in Kosovo during the last 24 hours:

Weapons confiscated and arrests made

During the past 24 hours 12 men have been arrested, one AK-47 rifle has been confiscated along with other weapons and ammunition.

  • In Prizren, Multinational Brigade South, last night KFOR troops arrested three men for the illegal possession of weapons. They were turned over to UNMIK police.
  • In Dusanovo, Multinational Brigade South, in the middle of the night, KFOR troops arrested three men for the illegal possession of firearms. One AK-47 was confiscated. The men were turned over to UNMIK police.
  • Yesterday morning, five brothers were arrested in Gornje Selo, Multinational Brigade South, for the illegal possession of weapons and ammunition. They are in the custody of UNMIK police.
  • A mine was found yesterday afternoon in Suk Mah in Multinational Brigade South. An explosive ordnance disposal team disposed of the mine.
  • At 10 a.m. a search operation was conducted at illegal former UCK police stations and other suspicious sites. Weapons, a quantity of ammunition and military equipment have been confiscated. One Albanian man was arrested and turned over to UNMIK police.

Curfew Broken

Ten people were detained in Prizren between midnight and six yesterday morning for breaking the curfew.

Artillery Illumination Rounds Assist Night-time Surveillance

Multinational Brigade East conducted artillery illumination operations from 11 p.m. last night until 4 a.m. this morning. The powerful illumination permits excellent visibility in areas designated for security surveillance.

Arrests Near Western Border

KFOR troops in Multinational Brigade West arrested three men near the border with FYROM for possession of a large sum of money. KFOR troops are vigilant in their security along the border and boundary areas where illegal activity can originate. Using patrols, night illumination artillery and checkpoints, KFOR is determined to stop smuggling and the entry into Kosovo of unauthorized individuals and criminals.

There was a recent report in the Kosovo press quoting an Albanian police officer accusing KFOR Italian and Turkish troops for ignoring criminal activity along the border. This accusation is totally incorrect. These troops, in conjunction with UNMIK police, conduct constant and thorough border patrols. Day and night they play a fundamental role in reducing crime and restoring law and order the province.

Assault on KFOR Soldier

A truck driver was arrested last night for assaulting a KFOR soldier at the Jankovic border crossing between Kosovo and FRY. The driver turned the soldier's gun on him and attempted to fire, but the safety was engaged. Military Police subdued the driver.

Suspected Car Theft

In the early hours this morning Force Support Unit KFOR troops arrested a Kosovo-Albanian man for suspected car theft in the town of Urosevac.

Peaceful Demonstrations

Some 1,500-2,000 people demonstrated peacefully for the release of political prisoners yesterday afternoon in Urosevac in Multinational Brigade East.

In Mitrovica this morning, 150 Serb workers demonstrated for half and hour against the presence of Albanians in the battery factory. KFOR troops patrolled nearby.

Fireworks Confiscated

Yesterday evening in Pristina, KFOR British troops confiscated a truckload of fireworks at a vehicle checkpoint. They gave the driver a receipt for the goods because he was not breaking the law. However the action was taken to avert unnecessary problems and noise on New Years Eve

Kosovo-Polje to Zvecan Train

Both Kosovo Serbs and Albanians are using the Kosovo-Polje to Zvecan railway line. Since opening on Monday several hundred people have taken advantage of the service. KFOR and UNMIK security is tight on the stations, platforms, in the carriages and along the line.

Only one incident has been reported. Yesterday morning, a Serb man armed with a long knife was arrested. A search of his home in Laplje Selo uncovered a long-barrel rifle, several rocket launchers and several mortar bombs. The man was arrested by KFOR Swedish troops and turned over to UNMIK Police.

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