Pristina, 21 February 2000
KFOR Search Operation in Mitrovica
KFOR soldiers, supported by UNMIK police, began a second day of searches in several neighbourhoods in Mitrovica this morning at 7 a.m. They are looking for small and large caches of illegal and dangerous weapons.
Owners of the weapons will be detained and turned over to UNMIK police, and those who are suspected for having been involved in the recent violent actions will be arrested.
Yesterday, 11 arrests were made, all for weapons violations. The men included 10 Albanians and one Serb. Following identification and interrogation, nine were released. One Albanian and one Serb remain in custody.
The latest report of weapons confiscated includes:
8 blocks of plastic explosive
1 heavy machine gun
18 rifle magazines loaded with ammunition; 30 bullets per
1 hunting rifle
1000's of rounds of ammunition
2 automatic pistols
4 hand grenade
The search operation will continue until General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, the Commander of KFOR, is satisfied that illegal activities have been stopped and dangerous weapons are banned from Mitrovica.
KFOR and UNMIK will not allow any illegal activities that perpetuate the cycle of violence or hold up the process of peace and reconciliation in Kosovo to continue.
Approximately 2,500 KFOR troops from 12 nations are supporting the operation in Mitrovica.
Twenty thousand Albanian citizens from Pristina and other communities are marching to Mitrovica today to protest the situation in that troubled city. The men, women and children are marching on foot and driving in cars, vans and busses.
UNMIK police are following the parade and KFOR soldiers are monitoring the progress along the route using foot patrols, vehicles and helicopters.
The organizers have called for a peaceful demonstration and have agreed that the protesters will stop in Vucitrn south of the city. From there, 12 representatives will be allowed to deliver a letter to UN officials in Mitrovica.
By 4 p.m. the crowds on foot will be picked up by bus for the return trip to Pristina.
Events and incidents in Kosovo during the last 24 hours:
Searches and Weapons Confiscations
Yesterday in Kravarica (MNB East), a KFOR patrol confiscated two rifles and a quantity of ammunition.
Incidents and Injuries
Yesterday evening, KFOR Norwegian troops reported that a home-made bomb was thrown into an occupied Serb house in MNB Centre. There were no injuries but there was damage to the house. KFOR are using specially trained dogs in their investigation.
Yesterday morning in Pec (MNB West), KFOR Military Police and UNMIK police arrested a Montenegrin man in connection with the shooting of an Albanian on 19 February in Vitomirica.