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AP: US Troops Seize Kosovo Weapons

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  • stephanie niketic
    US Troops Seize Kosovo Weapons By Robert Burns AP Military Writer Friday, April 14, 2000; 11:02 a.m. EDT WASHINGTON -- American peacekeeping troops today
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 15, 2000
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      US Troops Seize Kosovo Weapons

      By Robert Burns
      AP Military Writer
      Friday, April 14, 2000; 11:02 a.m. EDT

      WASHINGTON -- American peacekeeping troops today launched a
      surprise raid near the town of Kacanik in southeastern Kosovo, seizing a
      variety of illegally held land mines, U.S. military officials said.

      Details of the operation were sketchy, but a brief statement from Camp
      Bondsteel, headquarters for the U.S. peacekeeping force in Kosovo, said
      the raid was launched in the early morning hours by air assault troops of
      the 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry. There was no immediate word on
      whether the land mines were held by Serbs or ethnic Albanians, or
      whether anyone was detained in connection with the raid.

      Officials said the operation, termed a "cordon and search," was continuing
      and that more details would be released when it was completed.

      On Thursday, U.S. officials said NATO has decided against expanding
      the size of its peacekeeping force in Kosovo but has asked member
      countries for about 3,500 troops to fill existing and anticipated gaps in the
      force.

      After analyzing whether the peacekeeping force known as the Kosovo
      Force, or KFOR, was sized properly for the mission, 10 months after it
      began, NATO authorities affirmed that the current number of 39,000
      troops was about right, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon said
      Thursday. That includes about 5,900 American troops.

      There had been speculation that NATO might add more forces because
      of recent episodes of ethnic violence in the French-controlled sector of
      Kosovo and trouble with bands of ethnic Albanian rebels in the Presevo
      Valley in southern Yugoslavia, which borders the American-patrolled
      sector of Kosovo.

      Instead NATO decided that it can manage so long as current and coming
      gaps are filled, Bacon said. The NATO analysis said a Canadian and a
      Dutch battalion that are about to leave Kosovo should be replaced, and a
      French and an Italian battalion that are in Kosovo on temporary duty also
      need to be replaced.

      NATO also concluded that a "swing battalion" that was supposed to be in
      Kosovo as a reserve force - but which never was deployed - should be
      filled, he said.

      The size of a battalion varies by nation but is generally in the vicinity of
      700 soldiers.

      Thus, NATO has asked member countries to provide five battalions, or
      approximately 3,500 troops, although the only battalion that would add to
      the total of troops in Kosovo would be the "swing battalion."

      Letters were sent this week to NATO capitals asking for contributions to
      fill the five battalions. He said it was "highly unlikely" the United States
      would contribute, since none of the battalions are earmarked for
      deployment in the U.S.-controlled sector of southeastern Kosovo.

      Independent of the NATO study on troop requirements, the United States
      announced two weeks ago that it intends to send an extra 125 infantry
      soldiers to conduct long-range reconnaissance in the Presevo Valley area,
      as well as 14 tanks and six Paladin artillery systems.

      Bacon said the reconnaissance company would arrive by the end of April
      and the tanks and artillery would arrive at Camp Able Sentry, in nearby
      Skopje, Macedonia, in the next few days.

      ---

      On the Net:

      NATO's Kosovo Force: http://www.kforonline.com

      © Copyright 2000 The Associated Press
    • Stephanie Niketic
      U.S. Troops Seize Kosovo Weapons The Associated Press Saturday, Aug. 11, 2001; 8:29 a.m. EDT PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- U.S. soldiers serving with NATO-led
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 11, 2001
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        U.S. Troops Seize Kosovo Weapons

        The Associated Press
        Saturday, Aug. 11, 2001; 8:29 a.m. EDT

        PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- U.S. soldiers serving with NATO-led
        peacekeepers seized a weapons cache and arrested 17 people in an
        eight-hour sweep of Kosovo villages near the Macedonian border, U.S.
        forces said Saturday.

        The weapons cache was found Friday after scouring houses, barns and
        sheds in the villages of Donja Stubla and Goden, a U.S. Army statement
        said.

        The cache included 20 assault rifles, 2,000 rounds of small arms
        ammunition, 104 pairs of boots, uniforms and other material.

        "Our soldiers will search every corner of Kosovo to prevent the return of
        violence and chaos," said Maj. Randy Martin, a spokesman for the U.S.
        forces.

        U.S. peacekeepers have been stepping up operations trying to stem the
        flow of weapons from the southern Serb province of Kosovo - under
        U.N. and NATO control - to ethnic Albanian guerrillas in neighboring
        Macedonia.

        Ethnic Albanian militants took up arms in February saying they want more
        rights for their community, which accounts for up to a third of the
        Macedonia's population of 2 million.

        © Copyright 2001 The Associated Press
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