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Voice of America, 98-08-29

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] KOSOVO ATROCITIES (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (KLECKA)

  • [01] KOSOVO ATROCITIES (L ONLY) BY PHILIP SMUCKER (KLECKA)

    DATE=8/29/98
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-237861
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: SERBIAN OFFICIALS IN YUGOSLAVIA'S KOSOVO PROVINCE TOOK REPORTERS TO THE SITE OF AN ALLEGED EXECUTION ON SATURDAY. THEY SAID KIDNAPPED SERBS HAD BEEN HELD PRISONER BEFORE BEING EXECUTED AND BURNED IN A BRICK OVEN NEAR THE TOWN OF KLECKA. PHILIP SMUCKER WAS ONE OF THOSE REPORTERS, AND THIS IS HIS REPORT.

    TEXT: SERBIAN POLICE OFFICIALS TOOK US TO THE SITE WHERE THEY ALLEGE ETHNIC ALBANIAN SEPARATIST GUERRILLAS HAD KILLED SERB PRISONERS. THE SITE WAS TAKEN OVER BY SERBIAN ARMY AND POLICE UNITS ON FRIDAY.

    THE ORGANIZED TRIP WAS ARRANGED BY THE PRO-GOVERNMENT MEDIA CENTER IN PRISTINA, AFTER A YUGOSLAV ARMY OFFICIAL HAD MENTIONED THE EXISTENCE OF A MASS GRAVE A DAY EARLIER.

    NO EVIDENCE OF A MASS GRAVE WAS FOUND. CHARRED HUMAN BONES WERE DISPLAYED ON A WHITE SHEET ON THE TOP OF A MOUNTAIN IN CENTRAL KOSOVO. THE BONES WERE NEXT TO A LARGE BUNKER THAT SERBIAN OFFICIALS SAID WAS USED AS A PRISON FOR SOME OF THE 80 SERBS REPORTED MISSING IN KOSOVO.

    THEN THEY TOOK US UP ANOTHER HILL TO DISPLAY THE SITE OF AN ALLEGED MASS EXECUTION OF 10 PERSONS. AN ALBANIAN PRISONER, BEKHIM MAZREKU, WAS PRODUCED FOR JOURNALISTS AND QUESTIONED BY A SERBIAN JUDGE AT THE SCENE.

    MR. MAZREKU SAID THAT 10 PRISONERS HAD BEEN KILLED -- INCLUDING TWO CHILDREN, THREE WOMEN AND TWO YOUNG MEN. HE SAID HE TOOK PART IN THE EXECUTIONS.

    UNDER QUESTIONING FROM A FEMALE JUDGE, HIS ANSWERS WERE TRANSLATED.

    ///MAZREKU/TRANSLATOR ACT///

    THERE WE PUT TEN OF THEM AND THEN WE SHOT AT THEM FROM THIS SIDE, BEHIND US. WE ALL SHOT AT THE SAME TIME.

    ///END ACT///

    REPORTERS AT THE SCENE TRIED TO QUESTION THE ALBANIAN, BUT OFFICIALS WHISKED HIM AWAY. HARD EVIDENCE OF A MASS EXECUTION IS STILL MISSING.

    SERB OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN ASKED BY THE EUROPEAN UNION TO ALLOW INTERNATIONAL FORENSIC EXPERTS INTO KOSOVO TO EXAMINE THE SITE OF ANOTHER ALLEGED MASS GRAVE CONTAINING ALBANIAN CIVILIANS. SO FAR, NO INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BEGIN INVESTIGATIONS IN KOSOVO. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PS/DW/JO
    29-Aug-98 1:20 PM EDT (1720 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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