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Kosova Daily Report #1522, 98-08-15

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 #1522
Prishtina, 15 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Serbian Troops Mount Full-scale Attack on Villages along Peja - De^an Roadway Today
  • [02] LDK Calls for International Intervention to Halt Serb Offensive
  • [03] Serb Offensive Dies Down in De^an Area Around Midday
  • [04] Heavy Blasts Heard in Gjakova, Probably Originating from De^an Area
  • [05] Nine Bodies Brought to Gjakova Morgue Last Evening
  • [06] Serb Forces Resume Pounding Villages around Shtime
  • [07] Serb Offensive Operations to Extend to Northern Kosova?
  • [08] Serbs Turn into Rubble Two Villages in Suhareka, Duh&l and Bllac&
  • [09] Serb Police Demolish Three Schools in Fush&-Kosova
  • [10] Serbian Offensive in Peja and De^an Area Resumes in the Afternoon
  • [11] Serb Authorities Launch Investigations Against 76 Albanians in Peja

  • [01] Serbian Troops Mount Full-scale Attack on Villages along Peja - De^an Roadway Today

    * Nine villages attacked: eight in the municipality of De^an - Isniq, L&bush&, Strellc, Raushiq, Loxh&, Prapa^an, Dubovik and Krushec - and one in the municipality of Peja, the village of Loxh&.

    * At least five Albanian civilians killed so far.

    * Over 50, 000 Albanians, most of them refugees, are encircled in the attacked villages.

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - Early in the morning today (Saturday), Serbian military and paramilitary police troops launched a full- scale attack against the villages along the De^an - Peja roadway, in western Kosova.

    Reports said 46 tanks, four military jets, eight helicopter gunships, as well as huge troops on 20 trucks and many other vehicles are involved in the offensive operation against the Albanian villages.

    The KIC stringer in the De^an area, sources with the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) in Peja, and eye- witness in the villages of De^an told the KIC today a huge Serb troop build-up overnight preceded the launching at 6 o'clock of full-scale attack on the villages of Loxh& (Peja) and the De^an villages: Isniq, L&bush&, Strellc, Raushiq, Loxh&, Prapa^an, Dubovik, Krushec, etc.

    The CDHRF chapter in Peja said the attack on Loxh& started at 6 a.m. when four Serb "Orao" military jets dropped a bomb each.

    Then shelling from the military base at Zag&rm& and the newly established base at Gorazhdec village started. At least 200 shells landed in the village of Loxh& from 6:00 through 8:15 hrs. The village is in flames and smoke billowing from it can be seen from the town of Peja, sources said, adding that the casualty-toll is unknowns as the village is sealed off.

    From a four kilometer distance, the village of Strellc is being shelled from the Serb military base at Zag&rm&.

    Osman Cacaj, head of the LDK Information Commission in De^an, told the KIC that Serb troops backed up by armored vehicles and helicopter gunships, started at 6 o'clock a full-scale attack against the villages of the municipality of De^an: Isniq, L&bush&, Strellc, Raushiq, Loxh&, Prapa^an, Dubovik, Krushec, etc.

    By 9 o'clock in the morning, when the attack was continuing unabated, at least five Albanian civilians were known to have been killed.

    Mr. Cacaj said around 60,000 Albanians, most of them displaced people from De^an, Peja, Malisheva and Gjakova municipalities, are holed up in these villages.

    In the name and on behalf of children, women and the elderly, the local LDK official called on the international community to intervene urgently to save the attacked population in De^an and Peja area.

    Osman Cacaj said a Serb helicopter gunship is flying overhead the area, whereas the population has nowhere to go.

    Since lats weekend, when the last strong Serb offensive in De^an started, this population has been under siege, under a ring of steel by Serbian forces.

    Meanwhile, an eye-witness told the KIC the villages of the Lugu i Baranit (the Baran Valley) are being shelled by Serb troops today.

    It has become a notorious thing for Serb troops to launch attacks against Albanian settlements in Kosova during week-ends. In this way, his military and paramilitary police attacks pass largely unnoticed, outside the attention of the world.

    Slobodan Milosevic is in the habit of embarking on offensive operations against Kosovars, while protesting his willingness to engage in talks with them; the latter playing as music to the ears of the West.

    Milosevic knows his brinkmanship and his outrageous policies have paid off for years now. He sees no reason whatsoever to change his mind, when he sees that a sense of urgency in the international community over Kosova in March and April died down by and large in June and July.

    [02] LDK Calls for International Intervention to Halt Serb Offensive

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - The Presidency of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK), President Ibrahim Rugova'a party, appealed today to the international community - the United States of America, the European Union, NATO, and the UN Security Council - to intervene urgently to halt the Serbian offensive in the area of Peja and De^an.

    In a statement issued today, the LDK Presidency said the ongoing Serb offensive actions may result in "catastrophic consequences for the civilian population" in the attacked area.

    Serbia should be forced to halt the attacks and pull out its military and police troops from Kosova, the LDK said. "It is high time for real pressure to be made to bear on Belgrade if a political resolution in Kosova is wished for, and pursued", the party concluded.

    [03] Serb Offensive Dies Down in De^an Area Around Midday

    Meanwhile, a local human rights activist in De^an said the Serb shelling was still going on at 14:OO hrs today

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - The LDK chapter in De^an reported at 12:30 hrs the Serb attacks against the villages along the De^an- Peja roawday, which started at 6 o'clock in the morning today (Saturday), had died down around midday. There was a cessation of the shelling, Osman Cacaj, a senior LDK official in De^an said.

    The village of Loxh& and Raushiq, near the town of Peja ('Pec'), were bombarded by Serb military jets too, local sources said.

    There have been killed and wounded in today's offensive against the Albanian villages in the region, local sources said. The name of a killed Albanian has been made known only - Ahmet Deli Shala (30).

    Early in the morning today (Saturday), Serbian military and paramilitary police troops launched a large-scale attack against the villages along the De^an - Peja roadway, in western Kosova.

    Reports said 46 tanks, four military jets, eight helicopter gunships, as well as huge troops on 20 trucks and many other vehicles were involved in the offensive operation against the Albanian villages.

    A dozen villages were attacked today, eight in the municipality of De^an - Junik, Beleg, Isniq, L&bush&, Strellc, Prapa^an, Lluk& e Ep&rme, Carrabreg i Posht&m, Dubovik and Krushec - and two in the municipality of Peja, the villages of Loxh& and Raushiq, local sources said.

    Meanwhile, the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said the villages of Baran and Vranoc in Lugu i Baranit (Barani Valley) were shelled today by Serb military and police troops.

    Serb shells landed very near to where the civilian population - displaced people from De^an, Peja, Malisheva and Gjakova - had been crowded.

    A population of more than 50,000 has been under siege, under a ring of steel by Serbian forces, for a week now.

    Reports said they have been streaming towards the villages of the Lugu i Baranit (Barani Valley) in the wake of today's Serb offensive.

    Meanwhile, Mr. Musa Berisha, chairman of the chapter of Prishtina- based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) in De^an said Serb shelling was still continuing at 14:00 hrs.

    In an interview with the VOA Albanian Section he failed to offer details on the targets of the shelling in the afternoon.

    [04] Heavy Blasts Heard in Gjakova, Probably Originating from De^an Area

    10,000 Albanians still without shelter and food, camping out in mountainous regions of Dushkaj&, along the Drini river, and in the villages along the Gjakov& - De^an roadway PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - The sound of heavy artillery barrages could be heard in the town of Gjakova in the morning hours of today, LDK sources said.

    The Gjakova LDK chapter could not say whether villages in the municipality of Gjakova were being attacked today by Serb forces.

    It quoted eye-witnesses as saying Serb troops were continuing their offensive actions in the De^an and Junik areas.

    Meanwhile, reports said people displaced from the fighting in the area were streaming towards the town of Gjakova, making the already critical humanitarian situation even worse.

    Despite efforts to offer shelter to the incoming arrivals, it is estimated that some 10,000 Albanians are still without shelter, without food, and threatened by epidemics.

    These are people who have been camping out in mountainous regions of Dushkaj&, along the Drini river, as well as in the villages along the Gjakov& - De^an roadway, the LDK sources in Gjakova said.

    Unconfirmed reports said at least 30 Albanians have been rounded up by Serb forces and sent to an unknown destination, as the campaign of arrests and provocations goes on unabated in the town of Gjakova.

    Meanwhile, LDK sources said two young Albanians, Ermir Shala (20) and Driton Berisha (20), residents of Gjakova, have been sent to a Serbian jail in Peja after a few days in custody in Gjakova.

    [05] Nine Bodies Brought to Gjakova Morgue Last Evening

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - The bodies of nine killed persons were taken by the Serb forces to the town morgue in Gjakova last evening, at around 20:00 hrs, local sources said.

    The LDK chapter in Gjakova said the bodies have not been identified yet, but it is presumed that they were all Albanians killed in the border area.

    The corpses are several days old, the LDK said, quoting witnesses.

    [06] Serb Forces Resume Pounding Villages around Shtime

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - Albanian hamlets around the Gryka e Carralev&s (Carraleva Gorge) and Devetaku plateau in the municipality of Shtime were reported pounded with artillery fire both last evening and today (Saturday) morning.

    The LDK Information Commission in Shtime, a town about 25 km south of Prishtina, said hamlets in the area have been attacked from Serb bases at Zborc and at Belinc hill.

    Serbs opened artillery and machine-gun fire on the outlying villages just after 7 o'clock today, the Commission said, failing to provide other details about possible casualties or the extent of destruction of Albanian property.

    [07] Serb Offensive Operations to Extend to Northern Kosova?

    A large-scale campaign of arrests of Albanian 'terrorists' will ensue in the coming days in Peja, Mitrovica, and, most immediately in Prishtina and Podujeva, senior Serb official said

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - A senior official with the Serbian Ministry of the Interior told the Serbian Blic day a massive-scale campaign of arrests of Albanians will be carried in the coming days.

    Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Serb security officer said "a massive-scale campaign of arrests of terrorists who have sheltered in Prishtina, Peja ('Pec'), Mitrovica and Podujeva" will be in place in the coming days, Blic reported today.

    These are the towns that have been outside the area of direct armed conflicts in Kosova in the past six months.

    "Amongst some 15,000 'displaced' Albanians in Podujeva, police has learned there are dozens of terrorists from the area of Malisheva and Drenica", the unnamed Serb officer quoted by Blic said.

    The truth is there are no displaced Albanians who have found refuge in Podujeva. This northeastern municipality along the border with Serbia has remained intact from Serb military and police operations of the kind seen in western and central Kosova in the past several months.

    The chain of members of the U^K in Prishtina has already been cut, the Serb officer said, adding that "police patrols will in the next couple of days be visiting Hajvali, as well as the Vranjevac (Kodra e Trimave) and Suncani Breg (Bregu i Diellit) neighbourhoods" in Prishtina, Blic reported.

    Whether the Milosevic regime is thus announcing its extension of armed crackdown and ethnic cleansing campaign to these parts of Kosova, including the capital Prishtina, or else engaging in a special warfare to make the Albanian population flee before this has happened, can only be a matter of conjecture for now.

    [08] Serbs Turn into Rubble Two Villages in Suhareka, Duh&l and Bllac&

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - Serb forces entered yesterday (Friday) evening the village of Duh&l and Bllac& in the municipality of Suhareka, setting ablaze the remaining houses there, sources in Suhareka said.

    Duh&l and Bllac& and many other outlying villages along the Prishtina- Prizren roadway in the Suhareka municipality have been repeatedly pounded with artillery and machine-gun fire for over five weeks now.

    They have been attacked mostly from a Serb base at the Qafa e Duhl&s mountain pass, as well as from Serb motorized convoys moving along the road on an almost daily basis.

    The LDK Information Commission in Suhareka said Serb infantry, backed up by armored vehicles, advanced into the two villages yesterday evening, setting afire whatever was left there.

    The local population of the Duh&l and Bllac& villages have fled homes earlier, many of them still living rough in the mountains, the LDK chapter said. It warned that the situation in the area is distressing and the hapless population living in the open or huddled in small and inadequate shelter is in desperate need of food and medical supplies.

    Meanwhile, sources in Suhareka said Serb troops attacked two other villages in the municipality last night.

    The villages of Sllapuzhan and Maqiteva were attacked from a motel near Suhareka and the "Ballkani" rubber plants.

    [09] Serb Police Demolish Three Schools in Fush&-Kosova

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - Serb police have broken into and demolished four primary schools in Fush&-Kosova ('Kosovo Polje') villages over the past few days.

    An education activist in Fush&-Kosova, M. Simoni, told the KIC today that Serbs have demolished primary schools in the villages of Bardh i Madh, Pomozotin, and Graboc i Ul&t. Serbs have smashed inventory in the classrooms, offices and labs.

    Sources in Bardhi i Madh said Serb police have sealed off the local school building, denying access to anyone there.

    [10] Serbian Offensive in Peja and De^an Area Resumes in the Afternoon

    PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - LDK sources from Peja ('Pec') told the KIC at 15:10 hrs Serbian attacks on the village of Loxh&, near Peja, and the De^an villages, resumed in the afternoon today (Saturday).

    Heavy Serbian troops, backed up by military jest and helicopters, as well as dozens of tanks and other heavy guns, launched today morning an offensive against more than a dozen Albanian villages along the Peja-De^an roadway.

    Around midday the offensive operations had died temporarily, local sources said.

    The villages were in flames and smoke was billowing from them, an LDK sources from Peja told the KIC by phone ten minutes past 15:00 hrs today, reporting on the resumption of the Serb offensive.

    The local chapter in De^an of the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said at 14:00 the Serbian shelling of the villages of the Lugu i Baranit (Baran Valley) was going on.

    There have been killed and wounded amongst Albanians in the ongoing Serb offensive today, sources said earlier in the day.

    [11] Serb Authorities Launch Investigations Against 76 Albanians in Peja

    They are accused of 'terrorist' activities PRISHTINA, Aug 15 (KIC) - The Serb regime Public Prosecutor's Office in Peja ('Pec') has launched investigations against 76 Albanians, most of whom from Gjakova villages, according to the Serbian press.

    They are accused of being involved in 'terrorist' activities, a routine charge against Albanians in Kosova in the past months and years.

    The Serb press gave their names today.

    Hundreds of Albanians have been accused of 'terrorist' activities in the past few months alone.

    It is all but impossible to keep track of the increasing number of people who have been accused of terrorist activities, some of whom have already been tried on trumped up charges.

    President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova condemned in the strongest terms on Friday the staged political trials of Albanians in Kosova.

    Kosova Information Center

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