by Lt.-Col. Henning Philipp, KFOR Spokesperson
Pristina, 01 March 2000
KFOR Russian Soldier Shot in Cold Blood
Yesterday at 2:50 p.m. in Srbica some 20 km south west of Mitrovica, a KFOR Russian soldier was shot in the chest in cold blood in front of the municipal building. The peacekeeper was rushed to the French medical facility in Mitrovica where he is reported to be in stable condition.
General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, the Commander KFOR, resoundingly condemns the attack as both cowardly and destructive to the peace and reconciliation process.
The KFOR French Gendarmerie have taken over the investigation of this case. They are looking for several men who may be associated with the incident.
Whatever perception individuals or groups of extremists may have concerning the different KFOR uniforms, all KFOR soldiers are united together for the singular goal of maintaining peace and stability so that Kosovo can rebuild. Those who spread hatred or resort to attempted murder of the very soldiers who are in Kosovo to assist their society to find a better future, must reflect on the disruption they are causing their own people.
United Nations Officer Wounded in Serbia
Yesterday an Irish United Nations officer was shot at and injured in the legs while on duty in Southern Serbia, near the village of Dobrosin. His colleague was able to drive him to safety at KFOR boundary crossing with Kosovo from where the injured man was air-evacuated to the US medical facility in Camp Bondsteel.
Reportedly the attackers were a group of men wearing green uniforms with red patches on their sleeves.
This incident is worrying for a number of reasons. It confirms that there are people in the boundary region with Kosovo that are prepared to use force to achieve their aims. This is not of benefit for Kosovo. Stability is key to progress in this province. Much needed investment and economic opportunity will be scared away if further conflict seems possible.
KFOR will not allow the territory of Kosovo to be used to support any activity aimed at using force and inciting tensions in the region of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medveda. KFOR will do everything in its power to prevent the export of violence and will ensure a secure environment for Kosovo.
Two men arrested
Yesterday afternoon, KFOR troops detained two Albanian men in Decane for questioning in connection with last Sunday's mortar attack in the vicinity of the Visoki Monastery.
Fortunately there was no property damage, but all parties regardless of their affiliation must condemn attacks on precious sites that are part of world as well as local heritage.
During the search of the men's house, a pistol, one hand grenade and a quantity of ammunition were confiscated.
Events and incidents in Kosovo during the last 24 hours:
Weapons Confiscations and Arrests
Yesterday morning in Dragas (MNB South), KFOR troops and UNMIK police confiscated three pistols, some ammunition and other military equipment during a house search. UNMIK police detained one man for investigation.
Early yesterday morning in Prizren (MNB South) a KFOR patrol confiscated one rifle and two hand grenades during a house search.
Early this morning in Urosevac (MNB East), a KFOR patrol searched an Albanian house and confiscated a pistol. One man was handed over to UNMIK police.
Yesterday attackers threw a grenade into the garden of a house in Letnica and injured the Serb owner. KFOR troops rushed the man to a treatment facility in Partes (both MNB East).