Yet More Weapons in Rogatica

Capt Tommaso Magistretti
First published July 17, 2003

Twice in one week Multinational Brigade South-East troops belonging to the French-Spanish and German Italian Battle Group conducted search operations in the villages of Nadanici, near Gacko, and Zabrezje, in the area of Rogatica.

Rogatica - On Friday, June 20th, a French Company accompanied by military police and EOD teams, started the operation in this small village near Gacko. The operation generated interest of the inhabitants who could see the Units' members searching the house and all the premises. The operation was very quick. They arrived at the spot around 0900 and entered the house, without using the force but with determination, in order to avoid any tension. "Captain told us to search the house politely, while trying to avoid any problem with the inhabitants" said a Corporal who took part to the operation. "Although it was a hard job, when you are a soldier, you prefer to take part in this kind of activity instead of remaining in the base. And I think it was a good opportunity for the young enlisted soldiers who are for the first time in mission abroad, to know what the Balkans are."
Three hours later
The search overall lasted only 3 hours, enough time to find 2482 cartridges, 4 blocks of explosive, 13 grenades, 3 detonators, 3 mines, 1 bayonet and other warlike material. "Everything was ready, everything was planned, but you can not foreseen everything." said Captain Laurent Cuny, commander of the Parachutist Coy "but at the end everything was perfect. I am very happy"
The same preparation was necessary for the 41st Alpine Company, based in Rogatica. "The action started early in the morning" said Captain Giuseppe Minissale, who took part to the Rogatica Operation. "As a soldier, I can say that it was exciting. But, in the meantime, as a human being, it was also touching. Sometime you enter the houses of very poor people. In these cases, also my soldiers write down names and addresses, and they ask me to come back after a few days with flour, food, clothes or blankets. I am very surprised" he added "by their nonchalance in leaving loaded weapons on the bedside table".
Eleven hours on
Their job was quite hard: they had to search in a very wide area and the whole operation lasted for more than 11 hours. Coming back to the base, they were exhausted but proud to have completed this important mission and achieved good results. In fact, they found seven weapons, 11 bayonets, 3 hand grenades, 1 mine, 174 pieces of ammunition of different calibre and 0.5 kg of gunpowder as well as a lot of other war like material.
Confiscation of such a large amount of illegally detained weapons shows once again that a lot of warlike material is still in circulation. SFOR is determined to achieve its goal to insure safe and secure environment. For this reason, as long as illegal weapons are in circulation, we will continue to conduct this kind of operations.

Related link:
Nations of SFOR: Italy

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