Kosovo: UN mission assists villages damaged by earthquake

25 April 2002

The United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) today continued to assist the population of Gnjilane following yesterday's earthquake, in which one person was killed and 23 hospitalized.

A command centre was set up today and better shelter has been arranged for those who could not return home, UNMIK said.

Meteorological centres in Tirana and Montenegro reported that the magnitude of the earthquake was approximately 5.4 on the Richter scale, while UNMIK's Division of Emergency Management estimated that the epicentre was near the village of Partes. A team was dispatched to that village and others nearby, and found about 50 damaged houses but no injuries.

In another development, the international prosecutor for Prizren has indicted a former UNMIK police officer and two men serving on the local police force on a series of charges related to an alleged mistreatment of a detainee in their custody earlier this year.

The indictment against Martin Almer, an Austrian national, and two members of the Kosovo Police Service, Feriz Thaqi and Isa Ulluri, accuses them in part of grave bodily injury, extraction of a statement under duress, maltreatment in the course of duty, abuse of office and giving a false statement in relation to an incident that occurred on 25 February in Orahovac.

The Prosecutor has sought the issuance of an international arrest warrant for Mr. Almer, who escaped detention and is believed to have returned to Austria, UNMIK said.

 

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