Albanian Daily News - KFOR arrested 950 and seized 6,000 arms since June

Albanian Economic Tribune
Dec 22, 1999

PRISHTINA - Troops from the NATO-led KFOR force have arrested 950 people, seized 6,000 weapons and destroyed 2,200 more in Kosovo since arriving in June, a spokesman said Tuesday.

The statement came after the announcement last week that KFOR and the United Nations are to step up security measures in Kosovo, faced with a mounting crime wave.

Joint patrols by UN police and KFOR police are to be increased and quick reaction forces have been set up to intervene in high-risk areas. The statement added that extra troops would be sent to Gjilan in the east and Prizren in the south to protect ethnic minorities - Serbs and gypsies.

"Our principal task is to establish and maintain security in every corner of Kosovo," KFOR leader General Klaus Reinhardt said on Tuesday.

"My soldiers accomplish this is their day-to-day work as they operate amongst the people day and night. We are here to help; we are here to protect; we are here to put an end to the fear and distrust that certain individuals attempt to spread, and we have increasing success in this endeavour."

UN police in the province arrested an ethnic Albanian man accused of having murdered five Serbs and Gypsies on Monday.

Police suspect the 32-year-old man of having shot the victims in the head in execution-style killings after three alleged accomplices, aged between 20 and 25, abducted them and brought them to him, UN police spokesman Gilles Moreau said.

Investigators have also found several mass graves of people reportedly killed since NATO drove Yugoslavian forces out of Kosovo in June after 18 months of oppression by Serbian police and paramilitaries of ethnic Albanians.

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