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Kosova Daily Report #1508, 98-08-01

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 #1508
Prishtina, 1 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Serb Offensive Continues, Fighting in Reka e Keqe and Junik Reported
  • [02] Entire Albanian Villages Burned by Serbian Forces in Klina
  • [03] Albanian Killed by Serb Forces in Graboc
  • [04] Serbs Attack Fleeing Albanian Civilians, Four Wounded Friday Afternoon
  • [05] Hundreds of Serb Shells Land in Malisheva Villages
  • [06] Thousands of Uprooted People Wait Helpless in Forests and Tractors Carts
  • [07] Firefighting Reported in Lipjan Villages Friday
  • [08] Heavy Explosion in Prishtina, Albanian Shop Blown Up Overnight
  • [09] Volunteering Serbs Ready to Fight in Kosova, Leader of Paramilitary Units Says
  • [10] Serb Civilian Harasses Albanians at Gunpoint in Vushtrri
  • [11] LDK and Human Rights Activists Ill-treated for Hours in Serb Custody

  • [01] Serb Offensive Continues, Fighting in Reka e Keqe and Junik Reported

    PRISHTINA, July 31 (KIC) - Fighting continued for the seventh straight day in the border zone villages of Reka e Keqe region, and in Junik, the LDK Information Commission in Gjakova said.

    Although the Serb propaganda said the offensive of the Serbian military and police in Kosova was over, reports from the ground said local Albanian resistance forces, including U^K units, have been fighting heavy Serbian military, paramilitary and police troops.

    LDK sources in Gjakova said today they did not have reports on casualties on the Albanian side in the most recent .

    Meanwhile, the LDK Information Commission in De^an said yesterday (Friday) at least 7 Albanians have been killed in Junik since the beginning of this latest offensive early this week: Shaban Galaj, Mehmet Zek& Qosaj (17), Bajram Ram& Shehu (85), Agim Ali Jasiqi (35), Mus& Ali Gjoci, Vezir Hysen Ademaj and a volunteer from Ferizaj ('Urosevac'), whose first name is Fetah. The number of those wounded is high, LDK sources in De^an said, adding that heavy material damage had been caused to the farmsteads.

    The situation in the town of Gjakova is made all the more difficult in the midst of the ongoing Serb offensive by the huge number of people - mostly the elderly, women and children - who are on the move, trying to make their way to relative safety to other villages and the town of Gjakova. The current situation is alarming, for it is impossible to cater for the needs of such a huge number of people. Many of them indeed are prevented from even entering the town of Gjakova. Those who have made it tell of ill- treatment experienced in the hands of Serb policemen manning check-points besetting the town.

    An urgent international humanitarian intervention is need to help the displaced Albanian population, Albanian structures in Gjakova said.

    [02] Entire Albanian Villages Burned by Serbian Forces in Klina

    28.000 inhabitants displaced from their homes in the past four months PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - Serbian forces have embarked on a criminal campaign of destruction and burning of entire villages in the municipality of Klina, in central Kosova, local sources said.

    Half of the farmsteads in the village of K&rrnic&, which was shelled for two days by Serb forces positioned in four checkpoints.

    The village school, which was built only last year by local donations, was burned during the shelling, LDK sources said.

    Last night many Albanian houses were burned in the village of Jashanic&, while many houses have been reported burned or destroyed in the villages of Gllarev&, Rigjev&, Stapanic&, Dush and Jellovc.

    In Gllarev& ('Iglarevo') the local elementary school building was burned to the ground, whereas hundreds of wheatfields set ablaze by Serb forces.

    In this village Shefqet Hasaj (35) has been killed, whereas Bekim Shala, resident of Ujmir, and a young Albanian from Zab&rgja have been wounded.

    In the 13 villages of the Ujmir region in Klina some 10.000 Albanians have been forced out of their homes. They have spent the past ten days in the open sky, with food and medicines lacking, LDK sources in Klina said.

    Reports said in the village of Dush Marmullaku and his wife Zade have been abducted, as well as Haradin, his nephew. It is feared for their life, for they are suspected slain.

    The municipal Emergency Council in Klina, an aid organization set up in spring, said some 28.000 inhabitants have been displaced from heir homes in 30 villages for the past four months. They all have been without any help from domestic or foreign humanitarian organizations, local sources said.

    [03] Albanian Killed by Serb Forces in Graboc

    PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - On Friday evening around 22:30 hrs, Serbian forces killed Faik Mjekiqi (35), father of four, who stood in defense of his village.

    A local LDK source in Graboc said the situation was a bit calmer today there and on the surrounding villages. There was only sporadic shooting, the source said.

    [04] Serbs Attack Fleeing Albanian Civilians, Four Wounded Friday Afternoon

    PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - At least four Albanian civilians, including three women, were wounded Friday when attacked by Serb forces near Sibovc village of Obiliq, 15 km west of Prishtina.

    Sources in Obiliq said Serb forces mounted a fierce attack late in the afternoon on Friday against several villages along the ^i^aviva mountainfoot - from Sibovc in Obiliq to the Zhilivoda village in the neighboring municipality of Vushtrri ('Vucitrn').

    The LDK chapter in Obiliq said it learned the identity of at least four Albanians wounded during the Serb machine-gun and artillery attack: Magbule Tha^i (f, 21), her mother Ajshe Thaqi (52), Ilmije Tha^i (f, 35) and Ahmet Kelmendi (43).

    The wounded Albanians were fleeing their village of Sibovc which was pounded from at least two Serb positions, witnesses said.

    Sources in Vushtrri said sporadic gunfire was heard during the whole course of last evening and night coming from the village of Prilluzh&.

    [05] Hundreds of Serb Shells Land in Malisheva Villages

    PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - The situation in Malisheva municipality have been reported exceedingly volatile, in the wake of the Serb offensive in the area which causes huge tides of refugees.

    Isuf Bytyqi, head of the LDK Information Commission in Malisheva, told the KIC today morning that Serb forces have continued with intermittent bombardment of Albanian settlements during the whole course of last week. Hundreds of shells have landed in the villages and fields in the area. Scores of farmhouses are in flames or smoldering, and many hectares of wheatfields have been burned, he said.

    Besides pounding Albanian houses with heavy artillery, Serb snipers have been shooting at everyone in the villages around their bases, Byty^i said, adding that it is feared the casualty-toll amongst the Albanian population is high. Ramadan Hoti from Carralluka was killed yesterday by Serb snipers, he said.

    Sources in Malisheva said Serbs have been dousing with petrol and setting ablaze houses in Malisheva and the surrounding villages.

    The head of the LDK information commission in Malisheva said thousands of people, including children, have for many days now been night and day in the open sky, lacking food and medical supplies.

    [06] Thousands of Uprooted People Wait Helpless in Forests and Tractors Carts

    PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - The situation has been deteriorating by the hour in the area between Malisheva and Suhareka, packed with displaced persons lacking basic necessities, witnesses said.

    Referring to estimations by the local human rights groups, the LDK chapter in Suhareka said around 70.000 uprooted people in tractors have been living for days in the open sky in an area called Lugu i Kravasaris& (Kravasaria Valley). The situation is particularly difficult in the villages of Ngucat, Lladrovc and Senik, with thousands of people 'accommodated' in the forests around.

    Ragip Zekolli, secretary of the LDK chapter in Suhareka, said a team of local doctors have been conducting a check-up of the population, but they are virtually helpless, lacking basic medical supplies. He appealed on international agencies and ICRC to assist the endangered population scattered in the fields and forests.

    [07] Firefighting Reported in Lipjan Villages Friday

    Serb media speak of 8 killed Albanians and three wounded Serb policemen PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - Firefighting was reported Friday afternoon in the villages of Lipjan, bordering on the Drenica region, about 20 km south-west of Prishtina.

    The Belgrade-based daily Dnevni Telegraf said eight Albanians were killed and three Serb policemen wounded in the fighting in the municipality of Lipjan yesterday. "Several armed Albanians were captured", the newspaper said.

    Dnevni Telegraf said the incident occurred yesterday when a group of armed Albanians attacked a Serb police patrol not far from Lipjan.

    Albanian sources in Lipjan could not confirm the Serb press report about the death of eight Albanians on Friday.

    The LDK chapter in Lipjan said Friday that over a dozen villages in the municipality, bordering on the Drenica region, have been under intermittent fire by Serb troops since last weekend.

    The outlying villages on both sides of the Magura-Shala road - Krojmir, Resinoc, Bainca, Pjet&rshtica and Shala - were most vulnerable, the LDK said.

    The LDK Information Commission in Lipjan said two Albanians, a 21- years old girl Af&rdita Qeriqi, and Haxhi Karpuzi (47) were killed during the recent Serb shelling of their villages of Krojmir and Shala.

    [08] Heavy Explosion in Prishtina, Albanian Shop Blown Up Overnight

    PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - Lats night, one hour after midnight, a heavy explosion occurred within the compounds of the clinics of the Medical Faculty, run by the Serb administration, the Prishtina- based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said.

    CDHRF sources said an Albanian-owned shop was blown up when the unknown device exploded.

    The hospital compound is under a regular and heavy police guard.

    There were two explosions in the Dardania neighborhood of the capital Prishtina on the night of Wednesday, early Thursday. The first occurred twenty minutes past midnight, the second ten to fifteen minutes later, he said.

    The sound of explosions was heard in the entire Dardania neighborhood, which has some 30.000 inhabitants. There were no casualties, nor any material damage.

    The Dardania residents and the eye-witness who revealed to the KIC details surrounding the first explosion at twenty minutes past midnight that day said the two blasts might have been orchestrated by the Serb police/security.

    Meanwhile, on Thursday evening, at 22:00, a Serb policeman opened fire on the flat of an Albanian family in Dardania.

    The CDHRF said several bullets hit a room of Hasan Voca's family flat. All the six members of the Albanian family were inside the flat at the time.

    [09] Volunteering Serbs Ready to Fight in Kosova, Leader of Paramilitary Units Says

    PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - Over 7000 Serb volunteers in Kosova are ready and available to fight, the Belgrade-based Blic quoted today the leader of a paramilitary organization, the "Council for Defending Kosova", Miroslav Solevic, as saying.

    According to the newspaper, Solevic said Serb volunteers are well- trained and experienced to fight in Kosova, but they have been waiting because, as he put it, "the state has still enough manpower to fight". The leader of the Serb units told the Blic that Serbs have been enlisting for war on voluntary basis. "It would make no sense if our units did not coordinate actions with the state", he said.

    There have been reports of increased mobilization of Serb civilians with the police and paramilitary troops in Kosova.

    Sources in Lipjan said Friday that at least 1000 Serbs, mobilized with the Serb troops recently, have been garrisoned in the local school in the mining town of Magura. Local Serbs, armed to the teeth, have been harassing and intimidating the few Albanians who are still in the town and the surrounding villages, witnesses said.

    [10] Serb Civilian Harasses Albanians at Gunpoint in Vushtrri

    PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - An armed Serb civilian harassed for hours Albanians residents of Lummadh village of Vushtrri ('Vucitrn) on Thursday.

    Sources in Vushtrri said a local Serb, named Marjan, roamed the streets of the village, shooting in the air and brandishing his automatic rifle to Albanians in the street and in their courtyards.

    In addition, the same Serb established his own checkpoint on the Prishtina- Mitrovica road, harassing passers-by, and even halting and checking passengers aboard buses travelling the road.

    There have been increased reports about armed Serbs harassing and threatening Albanians in towns and villages throughout Kosova. The KIC has received eye-witness accounts of citizens being harassed at Serb gunpoint in the Kosova capital Prishtina too, especially in the evening and night hours.

    For many years now, the Serb population in Kosova has been almost overtly supplied with arms by Serb-installed authorities and police. Serbs have been given arms in police stations and community centers, including schools.

    Reports from Peja, the second biggest town in Kosova, say life has been made intolerable in the town with armed Serb gangs intimidating people and raiding and looting their homes.

    [11] LDK and Human Rights Activists Ill-treated for Hours in Serb Custody

    PRISHTINA, Aug 1 (KIC) - Five activists with local branches of LDK and the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) in Ferizaj were released Friday night after many hours in Serb custody.

    Milazim Haliti, Fatmir Sylejmani, members of the LDK Presidency, Bekim B&rkolli, vice-chairman of the local chapter of the Human Rights Council, were arrested in their offices yesterday morning when scores of Serb policemen broke in Friday morning.

    Adem Salihaj, chairman of the local LDK Presidency in town, and member of the Parliament of Kosova, was arrested at midday Friday.

    So was Agim Re^ica, chairman of a local LDK sub-branch in Ferizaj.

    The LDK chapter in Ferizaj said all the activists were subject to exhaustive interrogation and physical maltreatment while in custody.

    Adem Salihaj, chairman of the LDK Presidency in Ferizaj, has spent many years in Serb jails over the past two decades for his political beliefs.

    Kosova Information Center

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