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Kosova Daily Report #1512, 98-08-05

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 #1512
Prishtina, 5 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives Austrian and German Ambassadors
  • [02] Serbian Attack on Likoc and Rezall& Villages Continues
  • [03] Serb Forces Take Control of Five U^K Strongholds in Drenica, Serb Press Says
  • [04] The Fate of Six Albanian Residents, Holed up in Skenderaj Village, Unknown
  • [05] 30,000 Albanian Refugees from Skenderaj Reach Mitrovica
  • [06] Serb Offensive in De^an Area Continues
  • [07] Thousands of Displaced Albanians Head Towards Suhareka
  • [08] A Dozen Thousand Albanians of Klina Municipality in Hills for a Week
  • [09] Serb Offensive in Gjakova Area Continues
  • [10] Over 100 Serb Motorized Vehicles Withdraw from Reka e Keqe Region
  • [11] Seven Albanians Killed in the Past Few Days in Gjakova Municipality
  • [12] Entire Villages Levelled as Serbs Complete Scorched-earth Policy Campaign
  • [13] Serbs Toss Poisonous Gas in Albanian Village, Witness Claims
  • [14] Serb Troops Attack Godanc Village in Shtime
  • [15] Refugees from War-torn Areas Swell Population of Vushtrri
  • [16] Thousands of Desperate Refugees Live for Weeks in Railway Tunnel
  • [17] Troops Pound Villages, Local Albanians Intimidated by Serb Police and Civilians
  • [18] Bujku Editor in Serb Custody on Tuesday and Wednesday

  • [01] President Rugova Receives Austrian and German Ambassadors

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr Ibrahim Rugova received today for talks in Prishtina Mr. Wolfgang Petritsch, Ambassador of Austria to Belgrade, and Mr. Wilfried Gruber, Germany's Ambassador to Belgrade.

    The current situation in Kosova in the wake of the Serbian offensive, as well as the plight of Albanians displaced from their homes, were discussed in the meeting.

    President Rugova said the Serb military and police offensive against the Albanian population has resulted in loss of life amongst the unprotected civilians, as well as systematic destruction of Albanian houses and property in many parts of Kosova.

    Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in the past few days alone Rugova said, adding that the ongoing Belgrade offensive is compounded with an ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosova.

    President Ibrahim Rugova pressed for an urgent international intervention to halt the Serbian offensive and to protect the people of Kosova. He also urged for speedy international action to avert a humanitarian catastrophe.

    The best solution for Kosova is independence, in accordance with the will of the people of Kosova, whereby all rights of the local Serb community would be guaranteed, Rugova said.

    Ambassadors Petritsch - whose country holds the EU Presidency - and Gruber expressed the concern of their governments over the situation in Kosova. The conditions should be created for a negotiated settlement in Kosova, they concluded.

    [02] Serbian Attack on Likoc and Rezall& Villages Continues

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Serbian forces started today (Wednesday), at 10 o'clock in the morning, an attack on the village of Likoc and the surrounding villages in the Drenica region.

    The Skenderaj chapter of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said Serb forces were launching rockets from Morina and their position near Llaush&.

    Serb aircraft flew low overhead the area today.

    Reports said the village of Rezall& was being shelled by Serb forces, which torched many Albanian houses and crops.

    The LDK Information Commission in Gllogovc said the houses of two Albanian family compounds, Sopi and Gashi, in Llapushnik have been burned altogether, while other family compounds are also burning.

    Eye-witnesses said everything has been burned from the Komoran crossroads to the local medical center in the village.

    There was overnight artillery fire beyond Llapushnik.

    Meanwhile, the exodus of people out of their home villages in Drenica goes on. People are heading for Mitrovica and Vushtrri. At least 400 tractors passed through the Verbovc gorge.

    While leaving her home on 2 August, an old Albanian woman, Maliqe Miftari, resident of Vitak village of Skenderaj, died in Verboc, a village in the municipality of Gllogovc.

    [03] Serb Forces Take Control of Five U^K Strongholds in Drenica, Serb Press Says

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Serb press said Serb forces took control of the village of Llaush&, municipality of Skenderaj, yesterday morning. It was a U^K stronghold, surrounded by minefields, sources said.

    Serb forces took also control over the villages of A^arev&, Jabllanic&, Rakinic& and Turi^ec, Serbian press said.

    These villages were also U^K strongholds, it said.

    The Serb media quoted Serb-installed authorities in Skenderaj as saying only a few villages remain, such as Izbica, where there are still U^K members.

    [04] The Fate of Six Albanian Residents, Holed up in Skenderaj Village, Unknown

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Six members of the extended Hajra family have been holed up in the village of Rakinic&, the municipality of Skenderaj, and their fate remains unknown, the LDK Information Commission in Mitrovica said, quoting Beqir Hajra, a family member.

    The Albanian population of the village evacuated homes as Serb forces continued their offensive in Drenica.

    Reportedly, the following people remained in Rakinic&: Ajshe Hajra (f, 70), and three crippled/paralyzed persons, Shaban Hajra (63), Xufe Hajra (f, 60) and Belkize Hajra (f, 16). Two family members have stayed behind to help them, Lumnije Hajra (30), mother of two, and Hysen Hajra (62).

    Serb forces claimed they took control of the village of Rakinic& yesterday morning.

    [05] 30,000 Albanian Refugees from Skenderaj Reach Mitrovica

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - More than 30.000 Albanians who have fled their homes in the wake of Serb offensive in Drenica have arrived in Mitrovica, the LDK Information Commission in Mitrovica said.

    Such a huge number of arrivals will add further the hardships of the local Albanian population in the town.

    More than 3,000 Albanian households in Mitrovica depend on the welfare system Kosova has maintained to offer subsistence to those in dire need.

    Meanwhile, the LDK Information Commission in Mitrovica said Serb police have been occupying the premises of the "Nonda Bulka" elementary school in the town since 1 August.

    [06] Serb Offensive in De^an Area Continues

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - The Serbian military and police offensive in the area of De^an, in western Kosova, continued today, local sources told the KIC today morning.

    Heavy Serb artillery was pounding the Albanian villages, sources said.

    The village of Junik has been the target of a heavy Serb attack for days now.

    At least two Albanians were killed and one wounded last night in Junik, which saw the fiercest Serb attack so far, a source from De^an told the KIC today afternoon.

    [07] Thousands of Displaced Albanians Head Towards Suhareka

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Thousands of Albanians who have fled their homes in the villages of Malisheva and Gllogovc have been heading towards villages of the municipality of Suhareka, local LDK sources said.

    These Albanians have been going down the hills towards the villages of Senik, Lladroviq, Ngucat, sources said.

    The local population have been trying to cope with the situation and offer shelter and aid to the new arrivals.

    [08] A Dozen Thousand Albanians of Klina Municipality in Hills for a Week

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - A dozen thousand Albanians, displaced people from the Klina municipality, have been in the hills of Cerovik and Qabiq for a week now, local sources said.

    At least 50 villagers, mostly residents of Dob&rdol, Ujmir, and Qabiqi, have not evacuated their homes, and their fate remains unknown, they added.

    Two local residents are presumed executed by Serb forces. Their bodies have been spotted from afar, but not collected.

    The thousands of displaced people - most of whom children, women and the elderly - have not been able to proceed to other safer areas, being effectively held under siege by Serb forces, local sources said.

    They are in desperate need for food and medical supplies, but also drinking water.

    [09] Serb Offensive in Gjakova Area Continues

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - The Serbian military and police offensive in the villages of the Reka e Keqe region continued today (Wednesday), local sources said, adding that local Albanian resistance forces have been battling the attacking Serb troops in south-western Kosova.

    The fighting was of a lower intensity today, sources said.

    Reports said that the villages of Nec, Ramoc, Smolic&, Stub&ll, Berjah, Nivokaz, Dobrosh, have been turned into scorched earth by now, while Serbs continue shelling the villages of Sheremet, Rracaj and other Albanian settlements in the area.

    A large part of the Albanian population have been in the open in surrounding hills, without shelter food and medical care.

    Local Albanian forces, including the U^K, have regrouped and are putting up a strong resistance to the Serb onslaught involving military, paramilitary and police troops.

    After having shelled the villages of the region of Dushkaj& on Tuesday, Serb forces looted and torched Albanian farmsteads in the villages of C&rmjan, G&rgoc, Zhabel, Bardhaniq, Jabllanic& and Krelan, local LDK sources said.

    Reports indicate some 10,000 Albanians have been turned into displaced people, wandering about the surrounding mountains. They are threatened by a humanitarian catastrophe.

    [10] Over 100 Serb Motorized Vehicles Withdraw from Reka e Keqe Region

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Last evening, a convoy of Serb military, paramilitary and police troops on board 105 motorized vehicles and with heavy combat armament, withdrew from the villages of the Reka e Keqe in the municipality of Gjakova, LDK sources in the town said.

    These Serb troops roamed the streets of Gjakova last night, opening fire and singing Serb chauvinist songs.

    Serb forces provoked the Albanians in Gjakova (99 percent of the population) chanting slogans; "Siptari, sve cemo vas ubiti" (Albanians, we will kill you all!).

    The Serb convoy then headed towards the road leading to Prizren, whereas part of it was stationed in the Serb military garrison in Gjakova.

    Serbian paramilitary and police troops patrolled the streets today and sang Serb chauvinist songs.

    Reports said there was artillery fire last night in the villages along the Gjakova-Peja roadway, such as in Dujak&, in Here^ and in the villages of the municipality of De^an.

    [11] Seven Albanians Killed in the Past Few Days in Gjakova Municipality

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Serbian forces killed these days Haxhi Adem Brahimaj (80), resident of Krelan, the LDK Information Commission in Gjakova reported.

    Meanwhile, yesterday Serb forces killed five elderly Albanians - three men and two women - in Jabllanic& village, LDK sources said, adding that their identity has not yet been established.

    Reports said the body of an Albanian, around 50 years of age, has been lying on the ground between the villages of Meje and Madanaj, near a power sub-station, since 2 August. He was killed by Serb forces. Albanians have not dared go and pick up the body as Serb snipers have been operating in the area.

    [12] Entire Villages Levelled as Serbs Complete Scorched-earth Policy Campaign

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Serb forces advancing into the Klina villages, in central Kosova, have been torching whatever is Albanian, Nik& Krasniqi, member of the LDK Presidency in Peja, told the KIC today morning.

    Mr. Krasniqi named a number of Albanian villages in the Klina municipality - including Bokshiq, ^eskov&, Nepole, and Gllogjan - which have been virtually leveled by the encroaching Serbian police, military and paramilitary forces. He noted that it will be impossible for days, perhaps weeks, to establish the definitive casualty-toll in that part of Kosova.

    The local population has been scattered all around, most of them on the edge of starvation, hiding in the forests, the LDK activist said.

    [13] Serbs Toss Poisonous Gas in Albanian Village, Witness Claims

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Serbs have been using poisonous gases against Albanians in Kosova, an eye-witness told today the LDK chapter in Prizren.

    Halit Shala told the LDK chapter that a motorized convoy with Serb paramilitaries on board which drove along the Krusha e Madhe village on Tuesday morning tossed amounts of poison on the streets of the village. A number of Albanians who happened out were affected by the poison and had to seek medical treatment, he said.

    The LDK information commission said that such a move on the part of the Serbs, which is in violation of all international conventions, is proof that the Serb regime is adamant on exploiting all the tools available to carry out its ethnic cleansing campaign in Kosova.

    The commission noted that there have been numerous practices by both Serb police and paramilitary troops brutalizing civilians solely because they are Albanians. Old men wearing traditional white skullcaps have been particularly targeted, the LDK said, naming several of them, as Ali Jupa (64), Xahidin Jupa (60), Selami Ramusha (70), Eqrem Mullaaliu, Ruzhdi Gashi, Muhamet Gashi, who have been tortured lately at Serb police roadblocks.

    [14] Serb Troops Attack Godanc Village in Shtime

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - The Godanc village in Shtime municipality, south of Prishtina, came under heavy Serb artillery fire on Tuesday evening. This is the first time the village was attacked, sources said.

    The LDK chapter in Shtime said today morning Serb forces pounded Godanc from the huge base at Zborc village. The chapter said it had no information about possible casualties still, noting only that the local population had fled the village.

    However, the LDK Information Commission in Shtime noted that immense damage was caused in several villages in the region after having been pounded with heavy artillery guns in the past few days.

    The Zborc village, where heavy Serb troops have been garrisoned now, has been turned into rubble. Huge damage was also caused to the villages of Carralev& and Belinc&.

    Most of the Albanian population in the villages of Carraleva, Belinca, Zborci, Pjet&rshtica, Duga, Kara^ica, Re^aku, Godanci i Ep&rm, Pestova and Mollopolci have fled their homes, the Commission said.

    Serb Forces Step Up Campaign of Intimidation in Prizren PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - The town of Prizren has been packed with Sreb forces - police, army and paramilitary - who have stepped up their campaign of intimidation against the local population and those from surrounding war-torn areas sheltered in the town, local LDK sources said.

    Provocations by Serbs in Prizren have become a daily occurrence.

    Serb troops parading the streets, as well as armed civilians, have made life appalling in the town, said the LDK information Commission today.

    Serb army and police aircraft have been continuously flying low overhead Prizren, while motorized convoys with heavy armament and soldiers in combat fatigue have been driving up and down the streets of the town. Over 36 truckloads with Serb policemen, soldiers and armed civilians drove along the main street of Prizren today afternoon at around 13:00 hrs.

    A large number of refugees, mainly from Malisheva and Rahovec, swelled the population of Prizren lately. Activists of LDK and local human rights groups said it is impossible for the local organizations to cope with the ever increasing flux of refugees.

    [15] Refugees from War-torn Areas Swell Population of Vushtrri

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - At least 23,000 refugees from war-torn area in Istog, Klina, Rahovec and Sk&nderaj, have found shelter in Vushtrri and the surrounding villages, according to the local LDK chapter.

    Carts drawn by tractors and animals have swarmed the streets of Vushtrri and villages in the area. At least 64 tractor carts stopped since yesterday morning in the yard of the local school in Galica. Exhausted people, including weak and sick children, women and the old, speak of miseries they experienced during the Serb attacks and their journey of tens of kilometers in the heat and under constant fear of Serb crackdown, the LDK said.

    Thousands of refugees have been sheltered in the villages of Galic&, Dubofc, Beqiq, Bukosh, Novolan, Koll&, Oshlan, Mihaliq, D&rvar, Resnik and Vushtrri.

    An LDK activist told the KIC that people are in desperate need of medication, as well as food and blankets and other necessities. In some cases over 50 people have been living in a four-room cottage, he said.

    [16] Thousands of Desperate Refugees Live for Weeks in Railway Tunnel

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) -Thousands of refugees from two central Kosova municipalities, Klina and Skenderaj ('Srbica'), have been for days in the forests between the villages of T&rdefc and A^areva, witnesses said.

    Most of the refugees have been spending days and nights in the open, between two railway tunnels in the area, while others have been housed in nearby villages. Anxiety about a possible crackdown looms as Serb troops a getting closer to the area which is packed with refugees, sources said.

    Most of the refugees hiding in the hills and tunnels are from the villages of Shtupel, K&rrnic&, Gjurgjevik, Jashanic&, Ozdrim, Vojnik, Buroja, Kopiliq i Ep&rm, Kopiliq i Ul&t, A^areva, Likoc, Obrija e Ul&t, Llausha, etc.

    Some of them have been on the move for months now.

    [17] Troops Pound Villages, Local Albanians Intimidated by Serb Police and Civilians

    PRISHTINA, Aug 5 (KIC) - Several villages in the Obiliq municipality, north- west of Prishtina, have been under continued fire for the fifth straight day today.

    LDK sources in Obiliq said Serb forces have been intermittently pounding the Graboc i Ul&, Graboc i Ep&rm, Shipitull&, Lajthisht& and Hamidi. Albanian farmsteads have been fired on with artillery and machine-guns from several positions, including the "Kosova B" power plant and a place called "K&rshi" near Grabovc village.

    The LDK Information Commission in Obiliq said armed Serbs have been intimidating Albanians in the villages of the area. Many were ill- treated by the Serbs in the Plametin village over the past two days, the report said. A as result of increased armed attacks and a campaign of intimidation by both Serb troops and paramilitary gangs, the population has been on the move, seeking sanctuary in safer places in the municipality and in the capital Prishtina.

    [18] Bujku Editor in Serb Custody on Tuesday and Wednesday

    PRISHTINA, Aug 4 (KIC) - Mr. Zek& Gecaj, a desk editor with the Prishtina- based daily newspaper Bujku, was held in Serb police custody in Prishtina both today and yesterday evening.

    The newspaper's Chief Editor, Avni Spahiu, said Zek& Gecaj was stopped by a Sreb police patrol in the center of Prishtina on Tuesday evening while heading home after work. After having been identified he was taken to a police station, where he was held until 23:00 hrs. The reason Gecaj was taken to the police was his identity card, stating his birthplace, Llausha, a village in Drenica, Spahiu said.

    Zek& Gecaj was ordered to report back to the police headquarters today morning, where he was questioned for over four hours about the newspaper and his relatives in his Llausha village. He was subject to intimidation.

    Kosova Information Center

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