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Friday, 23 June, 2000, 15:53 GMT 16:53 UK
Kosovo arms cache 'was KLA's'
Klecka bunker
The discovery followed a spate of attacks on Serbs
The Nato-led peacekeepers in Kosovo say that a huge cache of weapons found a week ago belonged to the disbanded ethnic Albanian militia, the Kosovo Liberation Army.

A spokesman, Major Scott Slaten, said that documents linking the arms to the KLA had been found together with the weapons.


Whether someone in one of these groups decided to do something independently, I don't know

Major Scott Slaten

At the time of the find, the KLA's successor, the civilian Kosovo Protection Force, denied any knowledge of the arms cache, the largest illegal find since fighting ended in the province a year ago.

Correspondents say the discovery is embarrassing for the international officials in Kosovo, who said last year that the KLA had handed over all its weapons.

Did Ceku know?

When the arms cache was found, senior British peacekeepers linked it to the KLA leadership, saying it must have known about the weapons and the failure to turn them in, as called for by the Kosovo peace agreement.

KPC parade
The KPC stands accused of non-compliance with K-For regulations
However Major Slaten told journalists on Friday that the peacekeepers "had no evidence" that Agim Ceku, the former KLA commander who now heads the Protection Force, was personally connected with the caches.

"At the time (of the conflict) much of the KLA was operating in disorganised groups throughout the region, not necessarily under a centralised command. Whether someone in one of these groups decided to do something independently, I don't know," he said.

The major said that UN police would investigate documents found with the weapons, which contained names and other evidence of ownership.

Contents of one bunker:
Tripod-mounted heavy machine guns
Hundreds of rifles, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenade launchers
Anti-tank and anti-personnel mines
Flak jackets
Large quantities of ammunition
Communications equipment

If any were found to have been used in recent attacks on Serbs or others, charges would probably be laid, he told Reuters news agency.

The weapons - more than six tonnes of them - were discovered last Friday in four underground bunkers near Klecka, a former KLA stronghold in the Drenica valley west of the regional capital, Pristina.

The discovery followed an upsurge in attacks on Serbs which had left 10 dead in the previous three weeks.

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Kosovo: One year on
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Key stories:
Nato's incomplete victory
The view from Kosovo
Serbs fear new war
Nato strikes: The untold story
An Uneasy Peace
Talking Point
Is the West losing the peace?
Is Nato guilty of war crimes?
See also:

15 Jun 00 | Europe
Kosovo attack denounced
07 Jun 00 | Europe
3,000 missing in Kosovo
09 Jun 00 | Europe
Analysis: Serbs under fire
28 Feb 00 | Europe
Kosovo: What happened to peace?
12 Mar 00 | Europe
Behind the Kosovo crisis
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