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Kosova Daily Report #1534, 98-08-27

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 #1534
Prishtina, 27 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Eleven-member Albanian Family Killed by Shell Launched from Serb Tank
  • [02] Up to Ten Albanians Feared Executed by Serb Forces near Banj& Village of Malisheva Yesterday
  • [03] Vast Area with Albanian Communities in Central Kosova Under Renewed Serb Fire Today
  • [04] Dramatic Situation in Suhareka as Serb Offensive Continues Unabated
  • [05] A Number of Albanians Held as Hostages in Rugova Gorge Villages
  • [06] Petrol Bomb Hurled at USIS Office in Prishtina Wednesday
  • [07] Heavy Explosion near Serb Police Post in the Entrance to Podujeva Early in the Morning
  • [08] Serb Troops Take Remains of Nine Killed Albanians to Prizren Morgue
  • [09] President Rugova Receives U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Julia Taft
  • [10] President Rugova Received Ambassador Hill
  • [11] 'Intervene Now, Save the People of Kosova from Serbian Extermination Campaign'
  • [12] Serb Troops Execute Four Albanians in Suhareka
  • [13] Eleven-member Family Killed Yesterday by Serb Missile, Buried in Grej^ec Village Today
  • [14] Serb Forces Shell and Burn Villages in Gllogovc Area
  • [15] Two Other Albanians Killed in Lipjan as Serbs Persist with Onslaught
  • [16] Thousands of People Crammed in Forests Fear Massacre by Advancing Serb Troops
  • [17] Serbs Loot and Burn Villages in Malisheva Area
  • [18] 99 Albanians Accused of Membership with the U^K in Gjakova Area
  • [19] Baby Girl Dies in Mountains, Her New Home for Weeks
  • [20] Firefighting Reported around Skenderaj Villages
  • [21] Serb Wound Albanian in Hade Village

  • [01] Eleven-member Albanian Family Killed by Shell Launched from Serb Tank

    Eight of the killed were children, Human Rights Council says PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - Eleven members of a Kosovar Albanian family died yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon near Grapc village in Shtime municipality, about 35 km south-west of Prishtina, when a shell launched from a Serb tank hit their carriage drawn by a tractor, the Prishtina-based Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) said today morning.

    The major Kosovar human rights group, CDHRF, said the extended Asllani family were fleeing their village early in the afternoon when it was attacked.

    The following members of the Asllani family died on the spot, according to the CDHRF: Jalldyze Asllani (f, 62), Halide Asllani (f, 37), Ajshe Asllani (f, 27), Burim Asllani (13), Lumni Asllani (11), Ejup Asllani (9), Luljeta Asllani (f, 7), Shpend Asllani (5), Xhafer Asllani (3), Antigon& Asllani (f, 1) and Albion& Asllani (f, 6 six months old).

    Isak Asllani, Musa Asllani and Ekrem Asllani received life- threatening wounds, the CDHRF, said.

    The atrocity occurred between 13 and 14:00 hrs yesterday, the CDHRF said. The Kosova Information Center (KIC) has been unable to obtain further details from other sources by 11 o'clock today (Thursday).

    [02] Up to Ten Albanians Feared Executed by Serb Forces near Banj& Village of Malisheva Yesterday

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - Hamz& Shala, resident of the Ngucat village of Malisheva, told the KIC today there was fear Serb forces had slain ten Albanians just above the village of Banj& in the municipality yesterday (Wednesday).

    Quoting two eye-witnesses, Mr. Shala said Serb forces had entered the village of Banj&, rounded up ten Albanians in their homes, and got them near the agricultural airport which is situated just above the village, where at least some of them were executed. Some villagers are said to have been held as hostages by Serb forces.

    The alleged crime was carried out yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon, between 15:00 and 16:00 hrs, according to the eye-witness accounts quoted by Mr. Shala.

    Serbian troops, including infantry, entered the village of Banj& yesterday, sources said.

    Later in the day the Serb tanks were pulled out, but a number of troops remained still inside.

    Hamz& Shala said the bodies of the killed remained lying in the vine- yards.

    Banj& is the first village on the road from Malisheva to Duh&l.

    [03] Vast Area with Albanian Communities in Central Kosova Under Renewed Serb Fire Today

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - A fierce Serb attack against a large number of Albanian villages stretching in three municipalities in central and southwest Kosova - Gllogovc, Lipjan and Malisheva - has continued today (Thursday) morning, local sources said.

    The most recent Serb offensive in a large swathe of central Kosova and in the western Rugova region, an area bordering on Montenegro, was launched last weekend, leaving at least 30 Albanians dead and many others wounded so far.

    LDK chapters in Gllogovc, Lipjan and Malisheva said the villages of Kishnarek&, Nekoc, Fushtic& e Ep&rme, Fushtic& e Ul&t (Gllogoc), Sedllar, Krojmiroc, Pjet&rshtic&, Kle^k& and Baic& (Lipjan), and T&rpez&, Berish&, Lladroc, Senik and Lladroviq (Malisheva municipality) have been under a fierce fire since early in the morning today.

    Serb infantry backed up by heavy armament has over the past three days advanced into most of these village, looting, destroying and scorching Albanian farmhouses and other property.

    The local population has fled in panic seeking refuge in safer areas, yet many have been hiding in the surrounding forests, sources said.

    Witnesses told the KIC the village of Kishnareka, Berisha, Nekoci, Divjaka, Sedllar and Kle^ka have been pounded with all kinds of armament and artillery from several Serb army and police bases, including Komoran, Quka e Zabelit and Magura mining town.

    A population of around 50,000 has been holed up in the area around these villages, human rights and LDK activists said.

    [04] Dramatic Situation in Suhareka as Serb Offensive Continues Unabated

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - The situation in the municipality of Suhareka has been reported extremely dramatic today, as the Serb offensive in the area has been continuing unabated.

    Sources in Suhareka, a town about 50 km south west of Prishtina, said today the Serb infantry has been advancing quickly towards the countryside, torching everything on the way. The villages of Reshtan, Dob&rdolan, Semetisht, Pe^an, Sllapuzhan, Bllac& and others found themselves encircled by heavy Serb troops this morning. Thousands of people have been holed up in the villages or have been hiding in the surrounding mountains.

    A local LDK activist told the KIC (by phone) today morning that at least 100 people have been crammed in the area.

    The LDK chapter in Suhareka and other local political and human rights groups appealed again today to the international community to do whatever possible to save the exceptionally vulnerable civilian population facing possible Serb massacres and starvation.

    They urged in particular the international Kosova Observer Mission to intervene with the Serb regime into bringing an and to the ongoing onslaughts.

    In another report sent later this morning, the LDK chapter in Suhareka said Serbs have been pounding with artillery Albanian hamlets in the area and that tanks and other motorized forces have move in the villages of Semetisht, Dob&rdolan and Samadraxh&.

    Plumes of smoke have been billowing from the villages, the report said.

    [05] A Number of Albanians Held as Hostages in Rugova Gorge Villages

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - Many Albanians have been arrested and a number of others reported held hostage in the wake of the attack by Serbian forces earlier this week in the villages of the Rugova Gorge in the municipality of Peja ('Pec'), western Kosova.

    Local LDK sources said amongst those being held hostage are four women and a three-year-old child. They are said to have been trapped in the house of Isuf Vesel Nik^i, in the village of Shtupeq i Madh.

    Reports said Dude Laj^i and her brother Mustaf were being held hostage by Serbs in the village of Shtupeq i Vog&l.

    Local LDK structures called on international humanitarian organizations to intervene so that they be released unharmed.

    [06] Petrol Bomb Hurled at USIS Office in Prishtina Wednesday

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - A petrol bomb ("Molotov cocktail') was hurled Wednesday into the front eyard of the American Center (USIS) in Prishtina, capital of Kosova, on Wednesday evening.

    The device, hurled by a still unidentified attacker, did not cause casualties, and there was but slight material damage.

    The petrol bomb set off a blaze which scorched the entrance to the two- storey building in the Dragodan neighborhood, a residential area in the Kosova capital.

    A security guard, Bedri Rama, said he quenched the fire with bucket of water.

    The USIS Prishtina said in a press release today the police are investigating the incident.

    The USIS was opened on 5 June 1996, and was welcomed by the Albanian people in Kosova as an 'historic day' for the country.

    [07] Heavy Explosion near Serb Police Post in the Entrance to Podujeva Early in the Morning

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - At 3 o'clock in the morning today (Thursday), a heavy explosion occurred near the former "Besiana" motel in the entrance to the town of Podujeva, 30 km north of capital Prishtina, followed by automatic weapons fire, local sources told the KIC.

    Serb police has been deployed there for long, manning a roadblock and checkpoint for years now. The former motel facilities have been used by Serb police, likewise.

    Serbian forces sealed off part of the neighborhood situated opposite the police checkpoint at 7 o'clock in the morning today.

    Albanian families in the neighborhood have been reported ill- treated by police.

    The area was still sealed off at 9:30 a.m., when an LDK activist in Podujeva was contacted on the phone by the KIC.

    In the sealed off area, but also in the north-eastern town of Podujeva near the border with Serbia, a heavy presence of Serb forces has been reported today.

    [08] Serb Troops Take Remains of Nine Killed Albanians to Prizren Morgue

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - The bodies of nine Albanians, presumably killed in the border area with Albania and central Kosova, were taken by Serb forces to the town morgue in Prizren on Wednesday.

    Sources in Prizren said that the bodies of the victims were not identified yet, except that they were all males.

    It is believed that four of the Albanians were killed in the Hasi villages, an area on the border zone with Albanaia, while the rest killed somewhere near the Duhla mountain pass, on the Prishtina- Prizren roadway.

    Bodies of 15 other Albanians were taken by Serb forces to the town morgue in Gjakova during the past four days. Eleven were buried on Tuesday in the local cemetery in Gjakova, only two of them being identified.

    [09] President Rugova Receives U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Julia Taft

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today in Prishtina Ms Julia V. Taft, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration. She was accompanied by Chief of U.S. Mission to Belgrade, Mr. Richard Miles, and Mission Director for 'FRY' of the United States Agency for International Development, Mr. Richard J.

    Hough.

    The Assistant Secretary of State Julia Taft said the United States is very concerned about the most recent developments in Kosova. The U.S. is concerned over the plight of the internally displaced persons (IDP) and is exploring ways to help them return to their homes and to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosova in the winter.

    President Ibrahim Rugova thanked the United States for its continued help for Kosova.

    The situation in Kosova has been dangerously escalating as the Serbian military and police offensive continues, he said.

    He called for stepped up pressure on Belgrade to make it halt the offensive against the Albanian people and create the conditions conducive to the establishment of a negotiating process between Prishtina and Belgrade on the Kosova issue.

    Rugova pointed out that the Serbian offensive is aimed at ethnically cleansing Kosova. "The first stage of the ethnic cleansing campaign is the burning and destruction of homes and other property", he said, adding that the people are forced to live rough in the open in Kosova or flee from the country altogether.

    Aware of these Belgrade schemes, the Kosova leadership has been pressing that the people do not evacuate their home, the President said. "They should return home under the presence and the monitoring of the international community."

    A comprehensive effort by the U.S. and indeed the international community at large is needed to secure the return of IDPs so as to avert a humanitarian catastrophe in Kosova, Rugova said.

    The Assistant Secretary of State Julia Taft shared an interest in ways the displaced population can be helped.

    [10] President Rugova Received Ambassador Hill

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr Ibrahim Rugova received today in Prishtina Ambassador Chris Hill, the U.S. envoy for Kosova.

    The most recent developments in Kosova and the ways to descalate the extremely grave situation so as the create the appropriate environment for the establishment of negotiations between Prishtina and Belgrade in pursuit of a political resolution for Kosova were discussed in the meeting today.

    [11] 'Intervene Now, Save the People of Kosova from Serbian Extermination Campaign'

    Grassroots activists call for U.S., NATO to intervene militarily to stop Serb offensive, carnage of Albanians PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - 'Intervene Now, Save the People of Kosova from Serbian Extermination Campaign' - this is to sum up numerous calls from grassroots activists of the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) and other local Albanian activists up and down Kosova today (Thursday).

    The Kosova Information Center (KIC) has been overwhelmed today by appeals from Albanian activists in Pagarush& of Malisheva, in the Suhareka villages, in the Shtimje area, in Lipjan, in Gjakova, in De^an, and in Drenica, crying foul over the stepped up Serbian aggression against the Albanian people in Kosova, scores of them killed, many more others wounded, tens of thousands of refugees living rough in the open, encircled by Serb military and paramilitary police.

    The grass roots activists, those who bear the brunt of the efforts on the ground to cope with the dire situation in the face of Serb aggression, made dramatic pleas today for the United States, and NATO, to intervene militarily to halt the Serbian offensive and save the people of Kosova.

    The stepped up Serb aggression in a large territory of Kosova, the killing of humanitarian activists as well as the execution of an Albanian 11-member family while trying to reach safety, are all evidence to an extermination campaign launched by the Serbian military and political establishment.

    More than 50 Albanian civilians have been killed in less than a week by Serb troops in Kosova.

    It is high time for NATO to intervene, lest everybody in the West is happy about the Milosevic war machinery destroying Kosova completely before they are willing to admit it is happening at all, a local activist said.

    [12] Serb Troops Execute Four Albanians in Suhareka

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - Four Albanians were executed after having been rounded up by Serb troops at Duhla village of Suhareka on Wednesday.

    The LDK chapter in Suhareka said Serb forces intruded yesterday into courtyards of the Sopaj extended family compound, shooting dead the brothers Isuf ^atani (30) and Ridvan ^atani (25).

    The Serb police later apprehended two local Albanians in the village. They were shot a little while later. The LDK chapter named one of them as Ruzhdi ^atani (25), but failed to learn the identity of the second one.

    Another resident of Duhla village, Jahir Perteshi, was wounded when Sreb troops entered his village yesterday, local sources reported.

    [13] Eleven-member Family Killed Yesterday by Serb Missile, Buried in Grej^ec Village Today

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - An 11-member Albanian family, killed by a Serb shell on Wednesday, was buried in Grej^ec village of Suhareka today (Thursday) morning.

    2The family, of whom 8 children, died Wednesday afternoon near Graca village in Shtime municipality, when a shell launched from a Serb tank hit their carriage drawn by a tractor.

    They had fled their village attacked by Serb troops earlier, sources said.

    Members of the Asllani family, who died on the spot yesterday, were Jalldyze Asllani (f, 62), Halide Asllani (f, 37), Ajshe Asllani (f, 27), Burim Asllani (13), Lumni Asllani (11), Ejup Asllani (9), Luljeta Asllani (f, 7), Shpend Asllani (5), Xhafer Asllani (3), Antigon& Asllani (f, 1) and Albion& Asllani (f, 6 six months old).

    Three other members of the family, Isak Asllani, Musa Asllani and Ekrem Asllani, who received life-threatening wounds, are still in a critical condition, LDK sources in Malisheva.

    The Serb atrocity occurred Wednesday afternoon, between 13 and 14:00 hrs, they added.

    [14] Serb Forces Shell and Burn Villages in Gllogovc Area

    Albanians butchered and burned by Serb forces PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - Serb forces shelled yesterday the village of Korretic& e Ep&rme, and burned and looted a number of houses after entering it, local LDK sources in Gllogovc said.

    Two Serb tanks shelled in the afternoon in Wednesday two Albanian family compounds, Dob&rdolani and Gollobovci, in the village of Korretic&s e Ep&rme. They were in flames, and smoke was billowing into the sky.

    The shelling lasted till 20:00, when the tanks returned to the Serb base in ^uka near Komoran.

    In the afternoon yesterday, the house of an Albanian, Kamber Dobovci, in the village of ^ikatov& e Vjet&r was burned. The village is close to the water reservoirs of the Ferronikeli plant.

    Meanwhile, reports said at 6:30 in the morning today, Serb artillery and automatic weapons fire was opened from Serbs positioned in the compounds of the Feronikeli ferrous-nickel plant in Gllogovc.

    In the morning today (Thursday), starting from 8 a.m., Serb military tanks and other combat equipment left Llapushnik for Komoran.

    Since 13:00 hrs today, the sound of Serb shelling in the Korretic& e Ep&rme area was heard.

    Reports said Serb troops have burned the elementary school building, the local medical center, as well as the Mother Teresa charity's warehouse in the village of Nekovc.

    An old Albanian, Rrahim Abaz Bashota, resident of Komoran, has been reported butchered. He was buried with his head cut off.

    Another Albania, Nebih Tafil Qela (45), was burned.

    Islam Dini (70), an invalid from Fushtica e Ul&t village, is reported as missing.

    Reports said a member of the U^K, Gani Kastrati (20) from Nekoc, was killed on Tuesday, 25 August, in Luzhnic&.

    Local sources said t the Serbian forces burned today the houses of the Zogaj family compound in Komoran, as well as several family compounds in Sankoc and Fushtic& e Ul&t villages.

    [15] Two Other Albanians Killed in Lipjan as Serbs Persist with Onslaught

    Serb mount fresh artillery attacks against Albanian community in the area today afternoon PRISHTINA, Aug (KIC) - The Information Commission in Lipjan, a town 20 km south of Prishtina, said it has learned the identity of two other Albanians killed during the ongoing Serb offensive against the Albanian communities in the municipality and in neighboring area.

    The Serb forces have mounted since last weekend a large-scale offensive against a wide area in central and south-west Kosova, reaching into the municipalities of Lipjan, Shtime, Suharaka, Gllogovc and Malisheva.

    The Commission said Muharrem ^adraku (55), a paralysed man, was killed in his village of V&rshec as he was not able to flee his home. Rushit Cani (42) was also killed at his place in Baica village. They could not be buried yet, as the area is packed with Serb troops.

    Sources in Lipjan have reported during the whole course of today of an increased build-up of Serb troops around the hamlets west of the Magura mining town. Over a dozen villages in this area have been deserted, many of them already burned to the ground. According to estimates of local organizations, at least 50,000 uprooted persons have been crammed in two valleys west of Magura.

    Meanwhile, sources in the area said this afternoon that the villages of Shala ('Sedlare'), Divjaka, Krojmir, and Kleqka came under renewed fierce fire. The villages are being attacked from all kinds of weapons, including heavy artillery, witnesses said.

    [16] Thousands of People Crammed in Forests Fear Massacre by Advancing Serb Troops

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - Thousands of people have been holed up in the villages or have been hiding in the surrounding mountainous forests in the Suhareka municipality, as Serb troops have been steadily advancing in their direction, local sources reported.

    The LDK chapter in Suhareka, a town about 50 km south-west of Prishtina, described today the situation in the town and in the area as extremely dramatic with the Serb offensive continuing unabated.

    Local activists told the KIC that at least 100,000 people have been crammed in the area. Several thousand have been holed up in the Pagarusha village alone, where the situation was reported extremely grave in early afternoon hours today.

    The Albanian population has abandoned the villages of Budakov&, Llanisht&, Grej^evc, Topill&, Fatbardh, Krushic& e Ep&rme, Draga^in&, Duh&l and Jezerc, many still on the move in a bid to reach safety.

    Serb troops have reportedly leveled villages or entire neighborhoods in them, including in the villages of Pe^an, Reshtan, Studan^an, Samadraxh&, etc.

    Plumes of smoke have been billowing from these villages, witnesses said today.

    Local chapters of political parties and human rights groups in Suhareka have been repeatedly addressing appeals to the international community, urging them to do whatever possible to save the threatened civilian population in the face of Serb aggression and starvation.

    Serb troops have been pounding indiscriminately the villages with artillery fire, destroying and burning everything that is Albanian, and killing with impunity the innocent population, the LDK said, illustrating it with the case of four Albanians executed in Duhla village yesterday.

    [17] Serbs Loot and Burn Villages in Malisheva Area

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - Several villages in the municipality of Malisheva were pounded with intermittent artillery fire during the whole course of today, local sources said.

    The villages have been under Serb fire since last weekend.

    Local LDK activists in Malisheva told the KIC that the villages are being mostly attacked from a newly established base near Banja village, and the town of Malisheva itself. Serbian troops, including infantry, entered the village of Banja yesterday, pillaging Albanian houses and setting them ablaze.

    Serb police helicopters have been flying overhead the area during the whole course of today.

    Hamz& Shala, resident of the Ngucat village of Malisheva, told the KIC today morning that Serb forces had entered the village of Banj&, rounded up ten Albanians in their homes and tool theme to a nearby agricultural airport. It is feared that they were executed, he said, quoting eyewitness in the village.

    [18] 99 Albanians Accused of Membership with the U^K in Gjakova Area

    LDK denies charges, saying it is another affort to incriminate party's political activities PRISHTINA, Aug (KIC) - The Serb-run Prosecutor's Office in Peja ("Pec') has said investigation proceedings have been initiated against 99 Albanians from the municipality for Gjakova, on charges of being members of the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army).

    Serb press said they are suspected members of the U^K groups in the villages of Smolic& and Jabllanic& of Gjakova, and Gllogjan and Prejlep villages of De^an municipalities.

    The Albanians are accused of having smuggled weapons from Albania and carried attacks against police.

    The Serb prosecutor's office implicates the Democratic League of Kosova (LDK) branch in Gjakova in all this.

    The enlisting of people was carried out in the LDK offices, the Serb regime authorities charge.

    The leadership of the LDK chapter in Gjakova denied in the strongest terms the Serb regime allegations today.

    This is evidence to the permanent persecution the LDK party activists face, and the efforts on the part of the Serb regime to incriminate the political activities which fall within the LDK program, the chapter said.

    The LDK members in the Gjakova municipality, including its chapter leadership, have been the targeted of a stepped up Serb regime campaign of terror and repression, the local LDK organization concluded.

    [19] Baby Girl Dies in Mountains, Her New Home for Weeks

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - A one-year-old girl, Pajtime Millaku, native of Qabiq village of Klina, died today in a tunnel her family has been sheltered in.

    The baby died because of lack of medication and dire living conditions, sources told the KIC.

    Thousands of Albanians from several Klina villages, in central Kosova, have been living rough four weeks now in a couple of tunnels and valleys.

    [20] Firefighting Reported around Skenderaj Villages

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - Firefighting was reported overnight around the villages of Llausha and A^areva, two villages in central Kosova, in the Skenderaj ('Srbica) municipality.

    Local LDK sources said fierce skirmishes were fought between the local fighters of the Liberation Army of Kosova (U^K) and the Serb police.

    There have been no reported casualties on either side, though.

    Many farmhouses were reported burned down in A^areva during the past few days, as the village was pounded with heavy Serb artillery fire.

    [21] Serb Wound Albanian in Hade Village

    PRISHTINA, Aug 27 (KIC) - A 41-year Albanian, Sejdi Preniqi, was wounded yesterday in his Hade village of Obiliq, 10 km north-west of Prishtina.

    Local sources said Sejdi Preniqi received Serb bullet wounds while harvesting his wheatfield near his house.

    Serb troops garrisoned at a place called "K&rshi" near the Bella^evc coal mines and the "Kosova B" power plants have been repeatedly firing into the villages in the area.

    Residents of Hade village returned home under the auspices of international humanitarian agencies in Prishtina. They had left the village in the wake of a Serb offensive to take control over the coal mines, which was in the hands of the U^K fighters for about ten days in late June.

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