(Delivered by Lieutenant-Commander Philipp
Anido, KFOR Spokesman)
PRISTINA - Friday, 25 February 2000
The large-scale search for illegal weapons and criminal elements in Mitrovica, named Operation Ibar, which began last Sunday morning, ended yesterday. The operation has demonstrated KFOR's resolve to search for and confiscate illegal weapons.
The search for weapons will continue in Mitrovica and other communities during the weeks and months ahead. Our patrols remain vigilant and ready to react firmly against the practice of accumulating weapons, and against any illegal or extremist activity.
During all our security operations, KFOR is working in very close cooperation with UNMIK police who are the experts in investigation, arrest and laying of criminal charges.
During the past 24 hours, fresh KFOR troops from the Canadian battalion and from Italian and Spanish battalions have joined the Multinational Brigade KFOR French units stationed in Mitrovica. The British, American and German peacekeepers have returned to duty in their own brigade areas.
The Commander of KFOR, General Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, confirms that KFOR will maintain a strong presence on the streets of Mitrovica, as well as in the surrounding region. Foot patrols, supported by vehicle patrols, and static guards will concentrate their protective measures in minority quarters. Vehicle checkpoints throughout the city will result in the confiscation of weapons and the arrest of individuals found in possession of arms.
Security Incidents in the Mitrovica Area
There are two operations to report in the area north of Mitrovic a. The first was a search in a Serbian house in Miolice near the boundary with Serbia. KFOR Belgian soldiers found eight AK-47 rifles, seven other rifles, two pistols, and a stock of ammunition. The second operation, which is ongoing at this time, is the search for weapons and the individuals who shot at a KFOR French patrol on Tuesday.
KFOR Medical Units
KFOR has at total of 45 medical units spread throughout Kosovo. All of these facilities provide a variety of medical assistance to the local population ranging from surgery to flu remedies.
We have 13 field hospitals with surgical teams and the capacity for nearly 600 beds. In addition, there are 32 battalion-level field hospitals which provide consultations and basic treatment.
As of 31 January, these specialized military teams from each KFOR nation, have reported nearly 60,000 consultations for the citizens of Kosovo. Of that number, approximately 3,000 have been admitted for overnight care, and 1,000 have undergone surgical operation.
The types of care we provide include vaccination of children, care of pregnant and nursing mothers and mobile medical and dental care to remote areas whence people are unable to travel to established facilities. In a number of cases, KFOR Canadian and Belgian helicopters have flown in doctors and dentists to provide emergency care.
In addition to the daily care, KFOR medical specialists are also providing valuable training for local physicians, nurses and physical therapists. As well, courses are given in the use of specialized medical equipment.
Events And Incidents During the Past 24 Hours
Yesterday afternoon, a KFOR patrol in MNB Centre found the body of an Albanian man who went missing yesterday in Bradas. UNMIK police are investigating.
Three Albanian teenage boys were arrested last night by KFOR Norwegian troops in MNB Centre for attacking a Serb woman in her house. The boys are in UNMIK police custody.
Last night, a KFOR patrol reported that three masked and armed men held up three Italian NGO individuals and robbed their house in Pec (MNB West). Also at midnight in Kacanik (MNB West), KFOR reported that a hand grenade was thrown into a shoe shop causing significant materiel damage. UNMIK police are investigating both cases.
Last night, a KFOR patrol in Orahovac (MNB South) reported that a hand grenade was thrown into a closed restaurant named 'Turid.' No one was injured. UNMIK police are investigating.
Information - KFOR Press Information
Web Site: http://www.kforonline.com
Tel: ++381 38 5013 30/33
Fax: ++381 38 5013 29/27
For specific information related to brigade-level operations, contact Brigade Public Information Offices.
Multinational Brigade Centre: Multinational
Brigade South :
Tel: ++44 7808 946 384 Satphone: 00 871761 617 239 or 00 873 761 617 239
Satphone: 00 870 762 018 552 or 00 870 762 135 015 Multinational Brigade East:
Multinational Brigade North: Satphone: 00 871 683 141 847 or 00 871 761 247 395
028 310 25 Multinational Brigade West:
Satphone: 00 871 762 159 078 Satphone: 00 871 762 069 491