Serbia + 1 more

KFOR Press Update: Mitrovica 17 Feb 2000

Format
News and Press Release
Source
Posted
Originally published
by Lt.-Cdr. Philip Anido, KFOR Spokesperson
Pristina, 17 February 2000
Update on Mitrovica

Tonight at 5 p.m., there were two rocket attacks in the Mitrovica area. In the first incident one anti-tank rocket was fired by unknown assailants at a Serb home near the Fire Hall in North Mitrovica. No casualties were reported.

In the second attack, one rocket landed harmlessly in a field near Suvi Do. KFOR explosive ordnance experts and UNMIK police are investigating.

Last night at 5 p.m., KFOR reports that those being detained for last Sunday's violence in Mitrovica include 35 Albanians and three Serbs.

KFOR continues to conduct house searches in the entire city.

Death of Avni Hajredinaj

Avni Hajredinaj died on the afternoon of 13 February after KFOR peacekeepers were shot at by a group of shooters in the 'Little Bosnia' quarter in the northern part of Mitrovica.

This man was amongst the group of attackers, and he was hit when KFOR soldiers returned fire.

The man was rushed from the scene by unidentified men and taken to the KFOR Moroccan hospital in South Mitrovica where he died. The family asked for his body according to custom, and it was handed over to their care. He was buried on 14 February.

All forensic evidence concerning the exact circumstances of Mr. Hajredinaj's death has therefore been buried. Thus it remains unclear whether he himself was one of the shooters in the group or not.

Dr. Kouchner and General Reinhardt Visit Mitrovica

Today Dr. Bernard Kouchner and General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt will visit Mitrovica. The current tension and division among the people of this city is of urgent concern to the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN and the Commander of KFOR.

Both the United Nations and KFOR are present today in Mitrovica and in all parts of Kosovo to foster peace and reconciliation. In cooperation with the local leaders in Kosovo, no effort will be overlooked to find a just and democratic solution that is best for the people of Kosovo and their future.

Above all, violence and revenge against innocent citizens must cease, so that the stability and normal life that the vast majority desires, can be the only focus of attention.

Events and incidents in Kosovo during the last 24 hours:

Deaths

Yesterday morning, about six km south west of Pristina (MNB Centre), a KFOR patrol reported that the bodies of an Albanian man and a woman were found shot to death in their car. UNMIK police are investigating

Yesterday morning KFOR and UNMIK police reported that an Albanian man was found shot in his garden in the village of Kpuz (MNB West). UNMIK police are investigating.

Last night, a body was found beside an abandoned car on a country road in the vicinity of Gnjilane (MNB East).

Demonstrations

Two demonstrations protesting the recent events in Mitrovica were reported yesterday, one in Istok and one in Klina. There were about 1,000 people in Istok and 3,000 in Klina.

Two protests have been announced for today in Dragas and in Pristina. The focus of the demonstration in Pristina is to demand the reopening of the University Philosophy Faculty in Mitrovica to Albanian students.

Incidents and Injuries

Yesterday afternoon near Pec (MNB West), three Albanian men handed over an anti-tank rocket and a grenade to KFOR troops.

Last night in Vitina (MNB East), a KFOR patrol reported that an unoccupied house was set on fire. Arson is suspected. UNMIK police are investigating.

Last night in Gnjilane (MNB East), two grenades were thrown at a Serbian house behind the Orthodox Church. The were no injuries, but there was damage to the home.

Weapons Confiscations

Yesterday, KFOR patrols searched two houses in Junic (MNB West) and found a machine gun, a large quantity of ammunition and other weapons. Three Albanian men were arrested for illegal possession of weapons. KFOR and UNMIK police are investigating.

Suspected Looting

Yesterday morning, three Albanians were arrested for looting an Albanian-owned home in Vucitrn (MNB North).