(Delivered by Lieutenant-Commander Philip
PRISTINA - Thursday, 2 March 2000
KFOR Russian Soldier Dies in Mitrovica Hospital
A report was issued yesterday describing the cold-blooded shooting of a KFOR Russian soldier in Srbica. The soldier was evacuated to the French Medical facility in Mitrovica. Sadly his condition deteriorated rapidly last night, and he subsequently died of his injuries. Commander KFOR, yesterday condemned this cowardly act of violence that has no place in the society that KFOR and UNMIK are aiming to build.
General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt is very saddened by this shocking latest development. He has released the following statement: "Our thoughts at this time are with the family of the Russian soldier who has been murdered in a brutal terrorist attack. The soldier's death, which results from extremist action, is a sad reflection on some criminal elements whose aim is to undo the achievements that KFOR's multi-national force has made.
"KFOR and UNMIK will utilize all resources in the investigation of this cowardly crime. The attack does nothing to achieve the goals of whatever extremists carried it out. Our Russian comrade was here in Kosovo to protect the safety and security of all the people of Kosovo.
"KFOR, although shocked by his murder, remains committed in its resolve to continue its mission in Kosovo. KFOR is a unified force operating with troops from all over the world. An attack on a KFOR soldier of any nationality is an attack on the whole of KFOR. I strongly condemn this horrific incident that has no place in the tolerant, multi-ethnic society that we are aiming to build." KFOR Troops Defuse Crowd Tactics
Yesterday evening, during a house search in Gornje Kusce near Gnjilane in Multinational Brigade East, KFOR troops arrested a Serb man and confiscated two AK-47 rifles, a hand grenade and a significant quantity of ammunition.
During the arrest, a crowd of some 200 Serbs tried to prevent the soldiers from carrying out their duty. The commander of MNB East ordered reinforcements and personally intervened to calm the people. After three hours of persuasion, the crowds dispersed and the arrest was made.
KFOR will not be deterred by intimidation tactics of crowds that attempt to prevent our soldiers and UNMIK police from carrying out their assigned tasks. The confiscation of weapons and the arrest of lawbreakers are vital for the stability that is required in Kosovo, in order to build a peaceful society.
Kosovo Polje to Lesak Train Attacked
Yesterday at the Lesak railway station, a crowd of 150 angry Serbs rushed past KFOR Greek soldiers and grabbed an Albanian railway worker. The Greek commander fired warning shots and the crowd let the man go free.
The crowd was protesting against the presence of Albanian staff on the train. They rail against the workers and threatened to blow up the train. KFOR and UNMIK police are investigating the incident.
Events and Incidents During the Past 24 Hours
Yesterday afternoon a hand grenade was thrown into an occupied Serb-owned shop in MNB East, but fortunately did not explode. The same store was attacked on 8 February and again in that incident the grenade did not go off. UNMIK police are in charge of the investigation.
Borders and Boundaries
At noon yesterday, three men who were attempting to cross from Albania into Kosovo near the Morina crossing in MNB South, were force to return by a KFOR patrol. Information - KFOR Press Information Centre Web Site: http://www.kforonline.com
Tel: ++381 38 5013 30/33
Fax: ++381 38 5013 29/27
For specific information related to brigade-level operations, contact Brigade Public Information Offices.
Multinational Brigade Centre: Multinational Brigade South :
Tel: ++44 7808 946 384 Satphone: 00 871
761 617 239 or 00 873 761 617 239
Satphone: 00 870 762 018 552 or 00 870 762 135 015 Multinational Brigade East:
Multinational Brigade North: Satphone: 00 871 683 141 847 or 00 871 761 247 395
028 310 25 Multinational Brigade West:
Satphone: 00 871 762 159 078 Satphone: 00 871 762 069 491.