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Kosova Daily Report #1445, 98-05-30

Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Kosova Information Center <http://www.kosova.com/>

Kosova Information Center
KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1445
Prishtina, 30 May 1998

First Edition: 16:00 CET
Second Edition: 20:30 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] Serbian Forces Resume Attack on Llapushnik Village of Gllogovoc
  • [02] At Least Three Albanians Killed in Gjakova Villages During Serb Offensive Friday
  • [03] One Albanian Wounded, Scores of Houses Damaged in Serb Shelling of Llausha
  • [04] At Least One Villager Killed by Serb Forces in Junik Friday
  • [05] President Rugova's Visit in The White House Went Extremely Well, Rubin Says
  • [06] Tens of Thousands Stage Peaceful Protest in Prishtina
  • [07] Serb Police Raids Half a Dozen Flats in Prishtina Quarter
  • [08] Central and West Kosova Without Phone Lines Since Friday Morning
  • [09] President Rugova Meets Secretary of State Albright
  • [10] Three Albanians Killed, Three Wounded in Serb Attack on Vranovc Village of Peja
  • [11] Serbian Forces Shell Lubeniq Village Today
  • [12] Serb Forces Shell Drenica Villages - One killed and three wounded at Kopili^
  • [13] Serb Military and Police Mount Attack on Three Villages in the Afternoon
  • [14] 3000 Displaced People from Drenica Reach Lipjan

  • [01] Serbian Forces Resume Attack on Llapushnik Village of Gllogovoc

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - Serbian forces resumed their attack on the village of Llapushnik in the municipality of Gllogovc, local sources said.

    At 4 o'clock in the morning, heavy Serbian forces left the compounds of the Ferrous-Nickel ("Ferronikeli") plant, and headed for the village of Llapushnik.

    At 8:50 hrs, Serbian forces resumed heavy artillery fire.

    Many houses could be seen ablaze.

    Serbian forces launched yesterday morning a large-scale attack on a number of villages in Drenica.

    KIC sources learned that during the Serb offensive operations, at least three Albanians were wounded yesterday.

    Skender Fejzullahu, resident of Zabel i Posht&m village, was hit and wounded while moving out of the village in search of a safer place. He received life-threatening wounds, and is reported in a critical condition.

    Xhem& Binaku, head of the LDK Information Commission in Gllogovc told the KIC Ali Bogiqi (75), resident of the village of Llapushnik, was wounded in the basement of his house. He received wounds from shrapnel of a bomb that exploded there. He was later arrested by Serb forces.

    Local sources said, Serbian forces suffered casualties in clashes with Albanians defending their homes yesterday.

    The all-day-long Serb onslaught was brought to an end at 23:00 hrs yesterday.

    On their way back to their bases, Serbian forces opened fire on houses, flats and businesses in the small town of Gllogovc. The Gllogovc mosque was reported hit, too.

    Most of the population fled their homes in Gllogovc in panic yesterday. Only a portion of the population stayed behind, mostly women, children and elderly, local sources said.

    Policemen have raided most of the Albanian houses at Komoran village, looting and smashing up furniture.

    Xhem& Binaku said yesterday's Serb attack was launched early in the morning. Llapushnik, a village with a population of 4.00, was shelled till 21:00 hrs yesterday.

    The hamlet of Vukovc was hit worst, namely the family compounds of Bogaj, Kara^ica, Tha^i (^upa) and Gashi in Llapushnik, as well as the houses in Komoran on the other side of the Drenica river.

    Around 80 percent of the houses at Vukovc were destroyed or burned down after being shelled.

    A number of Albanians were arrested in their homes and taken to the Serbian police station in Gllogovc. Besides Ali Bogiqi (75), lightly wounded in the leg, his son Mexhid, a third person whose identity has not been made known, then Vesel Bogiqi and his wife Vahide (70) were reported arrested.

    In the ^upaj family compound, Xhemail Tha^i (47) and his wife Nexhmije (46) were arrested yesterday. From 12:00 through 16:00 hrs they were held tied to objects, then driven on a jeep to the police station in Gllogoc.

    Xhemail was reported ill-treated physically on charges that he was supportive of the U^K-s&.

    The arrested people were released eventually.

    LDK sources in Gllogovc said Serbian ('Yugoslav') military took part in yesterday's operations.

    The Serb military fired heavy cannon fire from its positions at ^uka e Zabelit, which is situated beyond Komoran, in the direction of Golesh.

    Part of Serbian forces stayed last night at Komoran and on the paved road at Llapushnik, whereas part of the Serb war machinery remained in the fields.

    Local sources could not say whether the Serb hardware was in the fields because of damages suffered or aiming at further actions.

    Serb forces suffered casualties there, they added though.

    Yesterday's artillery attacks on the villages of Llapushnik, ^ikatov& and Dobroshec were launched from Serb positions at Suka e Gllogovcit, which is near the compounds of the Ferronikeli plant.

    Sources said the local school building at Dobroshec was targeted yesterday, too.

    [02] At Least Three Albanians Killed in Gjakova Villages During Serb Offensive Friday

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - At least three Albanians were killed and many others wounded Friday during a Serb forces offensive in the villages of Reka e Keqe region in the municipality of Gjakova.

    The LDK Information Commission in Gjakova has identified the killed Albanians as Rexhep Sadiku, resident of Nivokaz, Halit Asllani, resident of Brovina, both killed by Serb forces, and Xhafer Krasniqi killed in still unsolved circumstances.

    Still unconfirmed reports speak of casualties on the Serb side as well. Two killed Serb policemen were reportedly held shortly in the town morgue of Gjakova before being transferred elsewhere.

    Intermittent gunfire and shelling of the Reka e Keqe village was reported during the whole course of yesterday and overnight.

    Albanian farmsteads at Bitash village were particularly targeted by Serb forces in the evening hours. The houses of Xhafer Imeraj, Gjon Jakaj, Rasim Puk and Hil& Vilaj in the village were hit with grenades and damaged badly.

    The house of Lan Delia at Palbardh village was burned to the ground, sources said.

    The situation in Gjakova villages and the town itself has been reported extremely tense tody (Saturday) morning, too. A Serb helicopter has been hovering the area. The helicopter was seen landing in the compounds of the Serb police station in Gjakova carrying wounded Serb policemen, witnesses have told the LDK Information Commission in the town.

    Dr. Fehmi Vula, member of the local LDK presidency, has been reported still in Serb police, whereas Ms Besa Arllati, chairwoman of the Information Commission, was detained again today morning.

    The two LDK activists have been repeatedly detained by Serb police since Monday in connection with an alleged abduction of two Serb policemen, who according to the police are being held at Smolica village.

    They have been pressed to secure that the two Serbs are released.

    Ms Arllati and Dr. Vula were threatened they would be used as human shield and that their children would be held hostage unless the two Serbs are freed.

    LDK people in Gjakova have been consistently denying knowledge about the alleged abduction of Serb police officers.

    [03] One Albanian Wounded, Scores of Houses Damaged in Serb Shelling of Llausha

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - Arsim Geci (22) was wounded in his courtyard in Llausha village in the municipality of Skenderaj ('Srbica') during a Serb forces attack on the village Friday.

    Llausha was shelled for over two hours yesterday afternoon with a high- calibre cannon and grenade launchers from Serb forces positioned around the village, the source said.

    At least 15 shells hit houses in the Gecaj neighbourhood in Llausha, a local LDK activist said. Many houses were damaged there, as well as in the adjacent Zejnullahu neighbourhood.

    The villages of Buroja and Vojnik& were likewise shelled from Serb positions for several hours yesterday. Sources in Skenderaj said several houses were hit and damaged badly in Vojnik&. Two houses of a local Albanian, Ismail Kastrati, at Buroja village were burned to the ground.

    LDK sources in Skenderaj could not confirm whether there were human casualties in the two villages Friday.

    [04] At Least One Villager Killed by Serb Forces in Junik Friday

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - One villager was killed, another died of heart attack, during the shelling of the village of Junik in the municipality of De^an yesterday (Friday), residents who managed to leave the sealed-off area said.

    Meany houses were reported damaged.

    The village was shelled by Serb forces positioned at an upland called Rogope^; then the forces advanced into the village, a young lady, resident of the village said.

    There were as many as 12.000 people in the village at the time, as 5.000 people fleeing other villages had found shelter at Junik, a source said.

    It is only the men who have now stayed behind, in a bid to defend the village.

    Telephone lines have been cut for a couple of days now with De^an.

    KIC could not, therefore, confirm reports about the situation at Junik and indeed in the municipality of De^an.

    [05] President Rugova's Visit in The White House Went Extremely Well, Rubin Says

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - The meeting between President Clinton and Prseident Rugova "went extremely well", the U.S. State Department Spokesman James Rubin said in a briefing with reporters in Washington on Friday.

    The U.S. President Bill Clinton received yesterday for talks in the White House Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, President of the Republic of Kosova, and his delegation.

    "Rugova met with the Deputy Secretary; he met with Ambassador Gelbard; he is expected to meet with the Secretary tomorrow morning. It's clear to us that this visit has gone extremely well", Rubin said, adding that it did not mean that the situation in Kosova is going well. "On the contrary", he said. "The situation in Kosovo is a matter of deep concern to the United States, and there's been recent increases in the violence there" he said.

    Both Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are vulnerable to spillover of the conflict in Kosova, James Rubin said.

    That is why the NATO ministers took a series of measures designed to shore up the stability of the states on the periphery of the former Republic of Yugoslavia. "NATO is considering other measures designed to contribute to the stability of neighbouring states, including study of possible preventive deployments in FYROM and Albania, as well as study of possible NATO support to the OSCE mission in Albania. NATO will continue to monitor the situation in Kosovo closely, and be prepared to take additional measures if that becomes necessary".

    The State dept Spokesman reiterated that the U.S. view is that the problems of Kosova can in the best way be resolved through a process of open and unconditional dialogue. "The more the battlefield grows, the harder it will be for the progress at the negotiating table to proceed. We have made that point very clear to President Milosevic that the unjustified extreme use of violence against Kosovar Albanians only makes it harder to negotiate a solution to this because it radicalizes the Kosovar Albanian population and undercuts the interlocutor we are trying - who may be in a position to avoid this conflict from spinning out of control."

    Asked about a possible direct intervention in Kosova James Rubin said: "We are not ruling any options out. We have made that quite clear; that is something I've said before. At the same time, one hopes that the parties involved understand the seriousness of the measures that we've now taken to consider deployments along the border to deal with potential spillover. That is a first and important step".

    "Secretary Albright has made clear that we've learned lessons about dealing with the situation in Bosnia - namely, the lesson of firm pressure on President Milosevic is the one lesson that is clear from the Bosnia episode that we will try to convince our allies and friends not to forget", James Rubin said in response to a question if President Clinton had reportedly assured Dr. Rugova that U.S would not allow another Bosnia repeated in the Balkans.

    [06] Tens of Thousands Stage Peaceful Protest in Prishtina

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - Tens of thousands of Albanians staged a half-hour peaceful protest in Prishtina, capital of Kosova, today.

    This was the fiftieth straight day Albanians have been staging clam marches to protest Serbian occupation and call for independence for Kosova.

    Today's manifestation was meant to convey the message of the Kosova sportsmen's plight, namely the fact that they too have been driven out of official facilities and persecuted by the Serbian occupation authorities in the past eight years.

    "Give us our sports facilities back" was the key slogan in the manifestation today, Kosova Albanian sportsmen of all ages marching through the main Prishtina square.

    The last ten minutes of the half-hour (12:00-12:30 hrs) was the time when ralliers chanted slogans "Freedom, Independence", "Rugova, Rugova", "U^K, U^K", etc.

    The Republic's Protest Committee said today's manifestation was a protest against Serbian violence and terror, as well as Serbian massacres against the Albanian people of Kosova.

    [07] Serb Police Raids Half a Dozen Flats in Prishtina Quarter

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - At least 25 Serb policemen were involved Saturday morning in a house-to-house raid in Kodra e Diellit quarter in Prishtina.

    The Serb policemen searched a dozen apartments in the neighbourhood, including those of Nimon Be^iraj, Avdi Visoka, Idriz Mehmeti, Ramiz Balidemaj, Nexhat Krasniqi, Fehim Rexhepi, Faruk Berisha.

    Nexhat Krasniqi was reported detained by the police.

    Mr. Krasniqi is said to be an activist with the Red Cross International.

    The Serb police intruding into apartments of local residents in Kodra e Diellit did not produce any search warrant.

    It seemed as if they were after someone hiding there, witnesses told KIC.

    [08] Central and West Kosova Without Phone Lines Since Friday Morning

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - Half a dozen municipalities of Kosova where mounting Serb offensives occurred over the past days have been without telephone lines for tow days now.

    The Serb installed administration in Kosova has cut off lines in Peja, De^an, Gjakova, Klina Friday morning. Communications with these parts of Kosova have been drastically restricted, making thus impossible to say what has been in fact going on inside the areas sealed off and being attacked by Serb forces.

    Sources in Peja said that the local mobile phone terminal in the town has been reported off since today morning.

    [09] President Rugova Meets Secretary of State Albright

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova met today (Saturday) with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Washington D.C. President Rugova had a historic meeting with President Bill Clinton in the White House Friday.

    During a one-hour meeting in the State Department, Rugova and Albright had a frank discussion on the situation in Kosova and the need and possibilities for the involvement of the United States and other international factors in a political resolution of the Kosova issue.

    President Rugova briefed Secretary Albright on the grave and dangerous situation in Kosova resulting from stepped Serbian police and military operations against the Albanian population.

    In view of the speedily escalating situation, especially in the past couple of days, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova called for urgent steps by the U.S. and its allies to end these offensive operations and secure the withdrawal of Serb paramilitary police and military forces from Kosova.

    The President of the Republic of Kosova reaffirmed the commitment of the Kosova leadership to a negotiated resolution of the crisis in a talks process which has started with the assistance and support by the United States.

    Ibrahim Rugova reaffirmed the determination of the people of Kosova to achieve freedom and independence.

    Secretary of State Madeleine Albright confirmed the commitment of the United States and the overall engagement of the Administration to helping Kosova.

    Madame Albright referred to stepped up efforts of the U.S. within the NATO, the Contact Group and other international fora to contribute to achieving as soon as possible a resolution in Kosova through an enhanced status with the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

    Addressing President Rugova, the Secretary of State said the U.S. supports his peaceful policies and the process of negotiations.

    She pressed for an intensification of the pace of the talks process between Prishtina and Belgrade.

    Participating in the meeting from the Kosovar side were also Prime Minister Bujar Bukoshi, and Fehmi Agani and Veton Surroi, coordinator and member, respectively, of Rugova's Advisory Council.

    President Rugova left for New York today, where he is due to meet Monday with Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary General.

    [10] Three Albanians Killed, Three Wounded in Serb Attack on Vranovc Village of Peja

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - At least three Albanians, two men and a woman, were killed and three others wounded during a Serbian attack on the villages of the Lugu i Baranit (the Valley of Baran) yesterday.

    The village of Vranovc was worst hit by Serbian shelling, which lasted for 12 hours (5:30 through 17:30), local sources said.

    Beqir (Rrustem) Krasniqi, Imer (Elez) Ukaj (55) and Faz& (Zenun) Krasniqi (35) were killed, whereas Ismet Krasniqi, Met& Krasniqi and Cuf& Krasniqi were wounded.

    At least a dozen houses were damaged from Serb shelling.

    The village school and mosque were hit, too.

    Local people resisted the Serbian attack, whereas women and children were evacuated, sources said.

    The village of Kryshec was shelled yesterday, too.

    Serbian police raided the village of Zllopek, sources said.

    A number of people were reported rounded up and taken to Peja with police and civilian cars, while others were reported arrested, including Vesel I. Dizdari (40) and his brothers Istref (25) and Daut (22), Selman H. Smajl Elezaj and Benjamin Mazrekaj.

    Sources in Peja said police raided Albanian households in the Zatra neighborhood in the town yesterday.

    Several Albanian-run businesses were reported fired upon by Serb police in Peja, including "Banana", "Albi", "Viktor B".

    Life in the western town of Peja has come to a virtual standstill.

    Shops closed at noon today, and there is but a very restricted movement of people.

    [11] Serbian Forces Shell Lubeniq Village Today

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - Reports say Serbian forces shelled the village of Lubeniq in the municipality of Peja ('Pec') today.

    An LDK source in Peja said columns of smoke could be seen from far off, adding that the extent of material damage or casualty toll remains unknown.

    Ten Albanians, most of whom members of an extended family, were slain by Serbs at Lubeniq earlier this week.

    [12] Serb Forces Shell Drenica Villages - One killed and three wounded at Kopili^

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - Today (Saturday) Serbian forces shelled six villages in Drenica: Kopili^, A^arev&, Buroj&, Vojnik, Turi^ec and Llaush&.

    LDK sources said Fatmir Xhemajli (28) was killed in his home at Kopili^ when it was shelled by Serb forces. Valon Milazimi (28), Muj& J. Mala (60) and Xheladin Neziri (60), also Kopili^ residents, were wounded.

    It is reported that Serbian forces deserted their check-point at Turi^ec, and burned the houses of the Kastrati family compound.

    The location of the deserted check-point has been mined by Serb forces, local sources said.

    Reports said Serb forces pulled out from their police check-point at Morin& village, too. The forces have been stationed at Polac instead.

    There have been no reports about the consequences of the Serb attack on Llaush&, Buroj& and Vojnik&.

    [13] Serb Military and Police Mount Attack on Three Villages in the Afternoon

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - Serbian forces fired into the villages of the Llapushnik gorge since morning, and mounted a heavy attack in the afternoon, targeting Llapushnik, Komoran and Grejkoc villages in the municipality of Gllogovc.

    Shaban Shala, a local human rights activist, said the local "Mother Teresa" medical center at Grejkoc village was hit with shells this afternoon.

    Mr. Shala said the villages were being shelled from tanks and armoured cars.

    An eye-witness said the involvement of the Yugoslav army in these attacks is evident.The military has been opening cannon fire from their position at ^uka e Zabelit, he said.

    Many houses have been reported ablaze this evening.

    At least 50 houses have been burned or destroyed in three villages (Komoran, Llapushnik and Zabel i Ul&t) yesterday and today, Mr. Shala said.

    17 people were abducted and tortured barbarically before being released, whereas four Albanians are missing, Shala, chairman of the local chapter of the CDHRF said.

    A dozen villages in the area have been without electricity for 24 hours now.

    [14] 3000 Displaced People from Drenica Reach Lipjan

    PRISHTINA, May 30 (KIC) - Some 3.000 Albanians, who have fled their homes in Drenica, have reached the villages of the neighboring municipality of Lipjan.

    More than 1.500 have arrived at the village of Shal& alone, LDK sources said.

    Serbian police set up yesterday a check-point at Magur&, in a bid to prevent the flow of people from the area attacked by Serbian forces in the region of Drenica.

    Kosova Information Center

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