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KFOR Press Update: 23 Mar 2000

News and Press Release
Originally published
Pristina, 23 March 2000
by Lt.-Cdr. Philip Anido, KFOR Spokesperson

Human Response to Road Tragedy

Yesterday at 5:35 p.m. a KFOR truck and a civilian car collided on the main road in Kosovo Polje. One civilian male died in the accident and three were seriously injured.

The injured were taken to the KFOR British military hospital for emergency treatment. The demand for blood was responded to immediately from the medical facilities at Camp Bondsteel and the British units on the area. About 30 British soldiers with the right blood group responded to the call.

The injured are reported to be in stable condition in the KFOR hospital. Additional blood will be flown into theatre today to replenish the supply in Kosovo. KFOR expends its sincere condolences to the family and friends of the deceased man.

Update on Exercise Dynamic Response 2000

Today, troops from the Strategic Reserve Forces (SRF) continue to move towards into their staging areas in preparation for Exercise Dynamic Response 2000. Troops and vehicles from the 24th United States Marine Corps Expeditionary Unit are now entering Kosovo through the Blace Border Crossing, enroute to their exercise base camp near Prizren.

Boundary Security Measures

KFOR mechanized infantry, tank and engineer units continue the process of closing secondary and minor border crossings between Kosovo and the rest of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The main, well-known boundary crossings will remain open.

The decision to tighten boundary control has been taken in the best interest of all citizens and will contribute to calm and peace in the region.

KFOR Engineers to Repair Railway Bridge

KFOR engineers have assessed the damage to the railway bridge overpass along the main line from Mitrovica to Lesac in the community of Ravna Gora, 10 kilometers north of Mitrovica. They say that it will take at least two months to restore the structure.

Unknown individuals intentionally laid explosive charges to destroy the bridge and cripple rail traffic in the area. The line is the main link between Kosovo Polje and Lesac in the northern part of Kosovo. Many Serb and Albanian passengers take the train twice a day to and from work or personal business.

The main north-south road that was temporarily blocked by rubble from the railway overpass has been cleared and traffic is now moving normally.

KFOR Belgian and Danish engineers have conducted an extensive examination of other road and railway bridges in the region and found another cluster of explosives ready to destroy a road bridge.

KFOR has set up patrols and checkpoints to counter the extremists who are attempting to disrupt the free and safe movement of civilian traffic.

Italian Troops Arrive in Albania

Yesterday morning, the Italian vessel, the San Marco, arrived at the Durres Port in Albania, bringing troops from the San Marco Battalion to join KFOR soldiers in Multinational Brigade North.

The Italian and French reinforcements who will arrive during the next days, will contribute to the maintaining of a safe and secure environment in Mitrovica and the surrounding neighbourhoods.

KFOR Engineers Teach Mine Awareness

Yesterday, KFOR engineers in Multinational Brigade South gave a lesson in mine awareness to schoolchildren in Prizren. In all parts of Kosovo KFOR, as well as other international agencies, provide this type of vital information through posters and presentations.

Now that spring has arrived and children are playing in the fields and country areas where mines may have been laid, KFOR welcomes requests from schools and communities for mine awareness instruction.

Events and incidents in Kosovo during the last 24 hours:

Searches and Weapons Confiscations

Yesterday, KFOR Military Police in Dusanovo (MNB South) searched a house and confiscated three hand grenades, one pistol and one full magazine. Two Albanian men were detained for questioning.

KFOR Finnish troops searched two houses in their area of operation in MNB Centre and confiscated several military items. They found one rifle, a significant quantity of ammunition, explosive fuse wire and gas masks.