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Kosovo Report: July 12, 1999

12 July 1999, Number 4, Volume 1

PEACEKEEPERS ARREST SIX AFTER SHOOT-OUT. U.S. KFOR troops found a dead body and an injured person in a building in Gjilan after hearing gunfire there. They arrested four men and two women in connection with the incident. KFOR officials have not released the ethnic origin of those killed and of those arrested. The injured person, however, was reported to have been of Albanian origin. In several separate incidents U.S. forces arrested five people in Gjilan.

UNKNOWN GUNMEN SHOOT AT BUS NEAR KLINA. KFOR spokesman Jan Joosten said in Prishtina on 11 July that unknown gunmen fired at a bus carrying Albanian refugees towards Klina in the Italian sector. Joosten said that KFOR did not identify the attackers and made no arrests.

KFOR RAIDS SUSPECTED UCK PRISON. NATO soldiers supported by 60 armored vehicles, tanks, and two attack helicopters searched two buildings in Peja on 11 July. The soldiers suspected that the buildings were the sites of Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) prisons. After the raid an Italian KFOR spokesman said in Peja that KFOR found no evidence that the UCK indeed used the buildings as prisons.

G-7 FINANCE MINISTERS TO DISCUSS STABILITY PACT. The Finance Ministers of the seven most industrialized countries of the world (G-7) will meet on 13 July in Brussels to approve a common development strategy for Kosovo and its neighboring countries. Observers note that this meeting may pave the way for a long term development plan, involving up to $30 billion. The plan will include provisions for fundamental political and economic reforms in the Balkan countries. It will be coordinated by the World Bank. One priority of the G-7 is to provide housing for tens of thousands of refugees whose homes have been destroyed.

HEAVY RAIN DROWNS SERBIA. Six people have been killed, ten are missing, and thousands have been evacuated after thunderstorms and heavy rain caused flooding in Serbia on 10 and 11 July. Large parts of Serbia remain without electricity and water, while several factories and electricity transformers in Batocina and Smederevska Palanka have been severely damaged. Meteorologists have warned of continuing rains in the coming days.

KOSOVO SERBS SUSPEND COOPERATION WITH UN. The leaders of the Kosovo Serbs have decided to suspend the cooperation with NATO and other representatives of the international community as long as attacks by Albanians against the Serbian population in Kosovo continue. Serbian leader Momcilo Trajkovic and Bishop Artemije signed a joint declaration on 11 July saying that they will not accept an invitation of the head of the UN Mission in Kosovo Sergio Vieira de Mello to participate in a political council for Kosovo.

BRITAIN LAUNCHES INVESTIGATION INTO KILLING OF ALBANIAN BY KFOR. A British Defense Ministry official has announced on 11 July in London that the Ministry has launched an investigation into the killing of an UCK gunman by British KFOR soldiers. The official said that the soldiers could face murder charges if the investigation concludes that they did not act in self-defense.