Kosovo search team finds more illegal arms

PRISTINA, Jun 19, 2000 -- (Reuters) British-led peacekeepers found more illegal arms in Kosovo on Sunday after last week's discovery of four bunkers full of weapons, a British officer said.

Sunday's search, during an ongoing sweep across central Kosovo, was not on the scale of Friday and Saturday's discoveries, but the finding of mortar tubes, mortar bombs and quantities of ammunition was enough to encourage the troops to extend the operation until Monday night at least.

"We're on a roll," declared Brigadier Richard Shirreff, commanding officer of the British troops in Kosovo, who are backed up in the search by Finnish, Norwegian and Czech units.

The latest finds were made at an undisclosed location in the southern sector of the area patrolled by the so-called KFOR forces.

The area is controlled by German NATO forces, who waived protocol to permit the search team to work on their territory.

Earlier on Sunday, the searchers brought in a bulldozer to destroy the four underground bunkers near the village of Klecka, 40 km (24 miles) southwest of the provincial capital Pristina, which had yielded the largest haul of illegal weapons.

The weapons found there, the largest haul since the end of the fighting in the province a year ago, were believed to have belonged to the now-disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

British KFOR spokeswoman Captain Kath Hurley gave Reuters the full list of munitions found in the bunkers.

This included among other material four heavy machine guns, 48 anti-tank missile launchers, 14,000 detonators, 16 anti-tank missiles, 340 boxes of ammunition, 4,000 high explosive armored rounds, 349 boxes of grenades, 160 boxes of rocket propelled grenades, 65 high explosive anti-tank projectiles and 204 mines.

KFOR plans to destroy all the armaments, probably next week, using the explosives to blow up the weapons.

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