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UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK): 22 Mar 2000

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Developments today, 22 March 2000 - Updated 3:30 p.m. EST
Security matters

Explosion damages railway bridge in northern Kosovo: An explosion has heavily damaged a railway bridge in northern Kosovo near the troubled city of Mitrovica. A KFOR spokesman said today that troops were clearing the rubble and bomb disposal experts and police were investigating. The damaged bridge is on the main railway line from Mitrovica to Lesac.

Meanwhile, KFOR has started sealing the border between Kosovo and eastern Serbia to guard against cross-border violence. KFOR spokesman Philip Anido said troops have commenced operations to close the Podujevo border crossing and all other unofficial crossings between Kosovo and Serbia. He said the purpose of this operation was to prevent Kosovo being used as a base for the export of violence in the volatile Presevo Valley.

Civilian administration

UNMIK head signs new regulations on administration and judiciary: The head of UNMIK has signed new regulations on the establishment of the Administrative Department of Public Services, the Central Civil Registry and the Extension of Custody of Persons Held Pending the Petition for Extradition, UNMIK announced today. The Administrative Department of Public Services is responsible for the overall management of public services in Kosovo and, in coordination with the Central Fiscal Authority, the development and implementation of the Kosovo Consolidated Budget. The department will implement the policy guidelines formulated by the Interim Administrative Council. The Central Civil Registry will be responsible for developing a register of all habitual residents of Kosovo. The Extension of Custody regulation allows an examining district court judge to extend the current maximum five-month custody period by up to an additional month.

Over 10,000 vehicles registered: More than 10,000 vehicles have been registered at centres in Pristina and Prizren, UNMIK spokeswoman Ms Angela Walker said. Three additional registration centres will be opened next month in Ferizaj, Gjakova and Gjilane. There are now two insurance companies authorized by UNMIK to operate in Kosovo. Starting on 31 March, UNMIK police will check vehicles in Pristina for their registration papers.

Kosovo power plants generating 312 megawatts of power: Unit 1 of Kosovo A and Unit 1 of Kosovo B power plants are producing a total of 312 megawatts of power, UNMIK said today. Kosovo is also importing 112 megawatts from neighbouring countries. The power-rationing regime is three hours on and three hours off in two groups.

UNMIK Police reports two murders in last two days: UNMIK police today reported two murders, one in the Pec Region and another in the Pristina Region. On Monday, UNMIK police and KFOR responded to a shooting in Gjakova where they found the body of an Albanian male inside his Mercedes. He had been shot four times. On Tuesday, witnesses found near Stimlje the body of an Albanian male who had been shot. Police also reported that two KPC members discovered a body near Vucitrn, in Mitrovica.

For further information, contact the Spokesman's Office: tel (212) 963-7161/2; fax (212) 963-7055.