Serbia + 1 more

KFOR Press Update: Mitrovica 26 Feb 2000

(Delivered by Lieutenant-Commander Philipp Anido, KFOR Spokesman)
PRISTINA - Saturday, 26 February 2000
Mitrovica Update

At midday yesterday, approximately 2,000 Serbs gathered in the northern part of Mitrovica, some 400 metres from the Western Bridge to demonstrate their solidarity and right to safety and security in their communities. The leader of the Serb community, Mr Oliver Ivanivoc, called on the people to protest peacefully and demanded a multi-ethnic society in which the future of Serbian children and all children will be assured.

The curfew went into effect last night at 9 p.m. Shortly after four Serb men were arrested by KFOR troops and turned over to UNMIK police.

Fire Destroys Pristina Sports Palace

At approximately 6 p.m. last night, a fire was reported in the warehouse area underneath Pristina's landmark shopping and sports complex. Local firefighters, supported by more than 80 KFOR firemen and trucks fought to contain the blaze, but by noon today the entire structure is engulfed in smoke and flames.

At least 30 fire engines and water trucks surround the building and KFOR British soldiers and UNMIK police have cordoned off the area to keep the large crowds away. All people from the adjacent shops and cafés have been evacuated to safety as a precaution. KFOR units on the scene include troops and equipment from the UK Defence Fire Service, the Swedish Battalion, the Royal Air Force Fire Service from the Pristina airfield, and the Greek Battalion.

The current scene is one of lashing flames, heavy black smoke, shattering of the huge glass windows and crumbling of steel and cement walls. Firefighters are confident that the fire will not spread to other buildings.

Kosovo Polje to Zvecan Train

Yesterday evening as the Kosovo Polje to Zvecan train was approaching the Mitrovica station, individuals rolled 10 heavy metal drums down a bank into the path of the train and threw stones, breaking one window. The KFOR Italian driver from the Italian Railway engineer Company was able to stop the train before it ran into the objects. UNMIK police are investigating the incident.

Events and Incidents During the Past 24 Hours

Weapons Confiscations and Arrests

At 6 p.m. during the day, KFOR Belgian troops searched a Serbian house near Dolac (MNB North) near the boundary with Serbia. They confiscated one semi-automatic rifle, one machine gun five magazines and four boxes of ammunition.

Last night in Srbica (MNB North), KFOR troops confiscated the rifle from a guard at a local factory because he was unable to produce his Weapons Authorization Card.

Yesterday afternoon, KFOR Italian troops in MNB West stopped a man during a vehicle check and confiscated a pistol. He was turned over to KFOR Military Police in Pec. Last night in Junak (MNB West) a KFOR patrol arrested an Albanian man and confiscated his pistol and ammunition. He was taken to the Pec Military Police station for questioning.

Last night an Albanian man was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of a 10-year old boy. The man is in Military Police custody in Pec (MNB West). UNMIK police will investigate.

Information - KFOR Press Information Centre Web Site:

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: 00 871 761 617 239 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