KFOR Press Update: 27 Mar 2000

Report
from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
Published on 27 Mar 2000
Pristina, 27 March 2000
by Lt.-Col. Henning Philipp, KFOR Spokesperson

Update on Exercise Dynamic Response 2000

The operational phase of Exercise Dynamic Response 2000 kicks off this morning. Troops and vehicles of the Strategic Reserve Force (SRF) will be seen in several areas of Kosovo as they train alongside KFOR soldiers.

During the next week, they will be familiarizing themselves with the local terrain and roads and will practice interoperability with KFOR units. The SRF is under tactical control of KFOR's Multinational Brigades commanders.

During the entire exercise, there will be no live firing. If soldiers and vehicles are seen in communities, their presence is to complement the KFOR security activities with which citizens are already familiar. Some 1,500 SRF troops from the USA, Poland, Romania, Argentina and The Netherlands are exercising alongside KFOR.

Four Arrested in Connection With Arson

Last night, four Albanian men were arrested in connection with an arson attack on a Serb owned home in Kosovo Polje. The case has been turned over to UNMIK police.

Six Arrested in Mitrovica

Last night a hand grenade exploded in the Little Bosnia quarter of the north part of Mitrovica. There were no injuries or damage, but KFOR soldiers arrested four Serbs and two Albanians. They were handed over to UNMIK police for investigation.

Events and Incidents During the Past 24 Hours

House Attack

Yesterday, individuals threw a hand grenade at a Serb home in Stimlje (MNB Centre) near a KFOR Finnish observation post. Fortunately the weapon did not explode.

In Kosovo Polje (MNB Centre), some 100-200 Albanians walked down the main street, and some threw rocks at Serb homes. UNMIK police and KFOR troops and Military police calmed the crowd.

Last night, A KFOR patrol reported that five mortar bombs were launched at a Muslim house in Donj Streoc (MNB West). There are no further details and an investigation is ongoing.

Searches and Weapons Confiscations

Yesterday morning, KFOR Finnish troops searched a Serb house in Lepina (MNB Centre) and confiscated an AK-47 rifle and a Serb military uniform. One Serb man was arrested.

During the search, an angry crowd threw bottles and stones at the peacekeepers, who used appropriate force, including guard dogs, to quell the aggressive behaviour. UNMIK and Military Police broke down roadblocks that had been set up to impede the arrest.

Yesterday in Lestane (MNB South), KFOR troops confiscated two assault rifles and some ammunition during a house search.