July 16, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 16-07-03


Srdjan Mutavdzic claims it is not possible that landmines are remnants of war because Serbs have been traveling on the cobblestone road from Dren to Mokra Gora for years

ERP KIM Info Service
Zubin Potok, July 16, 2003


Srdjan Mutavdzic (30) from the village of Dren, Zubin Potok municipality, narrowly escaped certain death today when the truck he was driving hit an anti-tank landmine planted on the road. After preparing firewood yesterday afternoon on his meadow, early this morning he set out to deliver the wood to Visoki Decani Monastery. Not far from his meadow, near the village of Stavalj, the truck hit an anti-tank landmine on the cobblestone road from Dren to Mokra Gora that completely destroyed the vehicle. Mutavdzic was miraculously thrown from the driver's cabin and sustained minor bruises.

Serbs from the village of Dren have been traveling on this road for years and Mutavdzic claims that it is impossible that the explosive device is a remnant from the war. He had traveled on the same road himself the previous day when he went to prepare the wood to be delivered. KFOR immediately went to the scene of the incident and located a second mine buried in the road, which also confirms that these landmines were planted at night.

Mutavdzic says that this is not the only case where landmines have been planted on roads used by local Serbs. In the summer of 2001 a similar incident occurred on the road between the village of Suvo Grlo and Dren. Brothers Stevan and Srdjan Tomasevic from Suvo Grlo were killed when their tractor drove over an anti-tank landmine that had been planted the previous night.

There are presently some 30 Serb families living in Dren and this incident has caused serious concern and fear in this small mountain village. The explosion was so strong that it could be heard kilometers away. An investigation is in progress.




Beta News Agency
Belgrade, July 16, 2003


KOSOVSKA MITROVICA - Srdjan Mutavdzic (30) from the village of Dren near Zubin Potok ran over a anti-tank landmine with his vehicle today resulting in minor injuries.
His "Tam" transporter truck was completely destroyed in the explosion of the landmine planted on the rural road from Dren to Stavalj.

Mutavdzic received medical treatment at the intensive care unit of the Kosovska Mitrovica health center and, according to Dr. Vladimir Adzic, is successfully recovering and not in life-threatening danger.
Special KFOR and UNMIK police teams carried out an investigation but the results have still not been made public.
According to local residents, ten additional planted explosive devices, most probably anti-tank landmines, were found on the Dren-Stavalj road and in the nearby meadow.
The village of Dren, in Ibarski Kolasin, is located on the border of Srbica municipality, inhabited primarily by ethnic Albanians.
The rural road on which Mutavdzic was driving today is considered a high risk road.


ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
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