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KFOR Press Update: 22 Mar 2000

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Originally published
PRISTINA - Wednesday, 22 March 2000
By Lieutenant-Commander Philip Anido, KFOR Spokesman

Exercise Dynamic Response 2000

This evening at 7:30, there will be a special media briefing in the press centre on the preparations and media opportunities for Exercise Dynamic Response 2000.

At the present time, all the main units of the Strategic Reserve Forces (SRF) are located outside Kosovo. They will move into their staging areas in Kosovo during the next three days ready for the employment phase of the exercise on Monday 27 March.

If some troops from the SRF have been seen inside Kosovo, they are advanced parties preparing for the maneuvers.

Main Line Railway Bridge Destroyed

Early this morning, at approximately 5:15 a.m., an explosion destroyed a railway bridge overpass along the main line from Mitrovica to Lesac in the community of Ravna Gora, 10 kilometers north of Mitrovica.

KFOR crews are in the process of clearing the main north-south road below, which has been temporarily blocked with rubble. KFOR explosive ordnance disposal experts and Military Police are on the scene. An investigation is underway. There are no further details are available at this time.

KFOR Troops Close Boundary Crossings

Multinational Brigade Centre has commenced its operation to close Gate 2 and all unofficial crossing points along the boundary between Kosovo and Serbia within, the MNB(C) area. The purpose of this operation is to prevent Kosovo being used as a base for the export of violence. KFOR will carry out strict ID checks of people crossing the boundary at Gates 3 and 4. Individuals found crossing the boundary at any other point will be turned back, and anyone attempting to conduct illegal activities will be arrested. Media Opportunity: There will be a helicopter available from MNB(C) HQ at 15:00 hrs. to transport media to the boundary. Places are limited and media should enroll with Flight Lieutenant Rob Hannam at the registration desk after the press conference.

Events and Incidents During the Past 24 Hours

Mines

Yesterday, KFOR explosive ordnance experts destroyed a landmine that was discovered in an open area near Birac (MNB South).

Incidents and Assaults

On Monday evening in Mali Alas (MNB Centre), individuals threw a hand grenade into the yard of a Roma house. One elderly man suffered shock and was taken to hospital by civilian ambulance.

KFOR and UNMIK police are searching for a yellow Volkswagen van with black stripes which was observed close to the scene.

On Monday, KFOR Military Police arrested a man for making threats to Serbs in Cernica (MNB East). A search of his house revealed no illegal weapons, but he has been detained for further questioning.

Yesterday in Gornje Makres (MNB East), KFOR Military Police arrested two men accused of looting buildings.

Searches and Weapons Confiscations

Yesterday morning, KFOR troops searched a house in Vucitrn (MNB North) and confiscated one AK-47 and a loaded magazine.

In Mitrovica (MNB North), KFOR Moroccantroops stopped a Serb man in possession of a hand grenade. During a subsequent search of his house in the Suvi Do (MNB North), 30 angry Serbs threw stones at the peacekeepers. Despite this assault, the soldiers completed their task and confiscated 1 AK-47 assault rifle, one full magazine with 30 rounds, one Simonov rifle, a quantity of ammunition and two military uniforms.

Yesterday morning in Vucitrn (MNB North), KFOR Gendarmerie conducted a house search. They seized a Simonov assault rifle and a quantity of ammunition. An Albanians were detained and handed over to UNMIK police for questioning.

On Monday evening in Kosovo Polje (MNB Centre), a driver and car were stopped and KFOR troops found an anti-tank rocket. UNMIK police are investigating.

In Pristina (MNB Centre), KFOR Military Police confiscated one rifle and some ammunition during a house search.