Kosovo hot spot calm as peacekeepers block arms run

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Yugoslavia, Feb 15, 2000 -- (AFP) The divided northern Kosovo town of Kosovska Mitrovica was calm Tuesday after residents respected an extended overnight curfew, a spokesman from the KFOR peacekeeping force said.

"The situation is particularly calm" in Mitrovica, lieutenant colonel Patrick Chanliau said, after sniper attacks on KFOR troops on Sunday left one ethnic Albanian sniper dead, another wounded and two French soldiers injured.

Peacekeepers later arrested 39 ethnic Albanians and one Serb, although KFOR on Tuesday said no further arrests had been made since Monday morning.

U.N. spokeswoman Nadia Younes on Monday said 300 U.N. police would be eventually redeployed in the troubled Mitrovica area, with 100 to arrive by the end of the week.

KFOR peacekeepers announced Sunday that the curfew, in place since Serbian mob violence killed eight ethnic Albanians on February 3, would be extended to run from 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. for the next week.

Meanwhile, KFOR troops on Monday blocked the passage of an Albanian ambulance carrying a large quantity of weapons, which was heading in the direction of Mitrovica.

The ambulance turned back when it saw a KFOR roadblock near the town of Vucitrn, to the southeast of Mitrovica, and "the vehicle then fell into a ravine and the passengers fled," the KFOR spokesman said.

French officers within the KFOR forces said 10 rocket launchers, more than 180 grenades and thousands of bullets were found inside the ambulance.

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