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Kosova Daily Report #1535, 98-08-28

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 #1535
Prishtina, 28 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova's Press Conference
  • [02] At Least Six Albanians Killed in Malisheva on Thursday
  • [03] Two Albanians Die from Wounds Sustained Earlier
  • [04] Serbs Kill Two U^K Fighters in Suhareka, Order Burial of Four Other Unidentified Men
  • [05] Serb Forces Shoot Dead Albanian Boy Near His Home in Gjakova
  • [06] Volatile Situation in Western Drenica as Serb Onslaught Continues
  • [07] Body of Killed Albanian Taken to Mitrovica Morgue Thursday
  • [08] Food Running Out, Bread for Children and Elderly Only in Lipjan Area
  • [09] Police Sets 5-Day Deadline to Albanian Family to Vacate Farmhouse in Fush&-Kosova
  • [10] Local Serbs Roam Podujeva Streets in Police Uniforms
  • [11] Serb Civilians Attack Neighbors in Vushtrri

  • [01] President Rugova's Press Conference

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - President Ibrahim Rugova condemned today the continued Serbian offensive against the people of Kosova, Serbian military and police operations against villages in the municipalities of Lipjan, Suhareka, and Shtime, as well as the continued shelling of Albanian communities in Drenica and Dukagjin regions.

    "The situation is grave and dangerous", the Kosova leader said during a press conference in Prishtina.

    Thousands of new refugess have been created in the past week, the President of the Republic of Kosova said, adding that scores of Albanians have been killed and wounded, most of them women, children and elderly, by the Serbian forces.

    Ibrahim Rugova condemned the Serbin state-sponsored repression against humaniatarian and political activists, and referred to the killing of three "Mother Teresa" charity activists earlier this week.

    He condemned the mass political trials against Albanians being prepared and staged by the Serb regime. The Belgrade regime is now threatening the LDK chapter in Gjakova, Rugova said, adding that all this is aimed at eliminating political and humanitarian activities in the south-western town of Kosova.

    President Ibrahim Rugova called for an urgent halt to the Serbian offensive, whose goal is "ethnic cleansing of Kosova", and international protection for Kosova. He urged the U.S., EU, UN, and NATO to save the people of Kosova in the face of the Serbian aggression.

    He called for a secure and safe return of internally-displced persons and refugees to their homes in the Kosova towns and villages, but stressed that international security and protection should be provided to that end.

    President Rugova denounced Serb authorities' obstruction of the distribution of humanitarian relief supplies in Kosova, and pressed for the opening of the Prishtina airport for humanitarian shipments.

    Independence for Kosova, with all guarantees for local Serbs, and an international protectorate status pending a lasting resolution - this is the optimal solution, Rugova reaffirmed.

    On the eve of the new school year, scheduled to start nex week, the President said it should start there where it can start, given the conditions. "Many school buildings have been destroyed and many others are being used as shelter by displaced people", he said.

    "It is of critical importance that we start school there where conditions warrant this", Rugova stressed, adding that he hoped for international support to this end. "We, the people have been resiting for years, and we will not give up now either".

    Asked to comment on threats the Serbian Deputy Prime Minister has made, namely that those who 'suppot the war' in Kosova would be criminally persecuted, probably alluding on Dema^i, as a questioner out it, President Rugova said that was all notorious Serb rhetoric, "unpolitical and primitive actions" of the Serb regime.

    The negotiating process on Kosova is moving, the President said, asked to comment on reported remarks by U.S. envoy for Kosova Chris Hill that the process was in its half-way.

    "We thank Ambassador Hill, who has been working hard, making systematic efforts to prepare the talks, so as to yield concrete results and bring an end to the conflict in Kosova", President Ibrahim Rugova said.

    Face-to-face negotiations between the 'FRY' authorities and Kosovar Albanians have yet to happen, but "an exchange of ideas si taking place through U.S. Ambassador Chris Hill, the chief U.S. coordinator in dealing with the Kosovo crisis", senior State Department officials said at a background briefing August 27.

    [02] At Least Six Albanians Killed in Malisheva on Thursday

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - The Serb offensive against the Albanian communities around Malisheva has continued unabated on Thursday afternoon and overnight, local sources reported.

    The LDK Information Commission in Malisheva said at least 6 Albanians were killed and many other wounded during the past 24 hours. It is feared that the casualty-toll may be higher.

    Ramadan Berisha (60), his daughter-in-law (aged around 30) and her baby died in Lladroviq village yesterday afternoon when their house was hit by a Serb artillery missile, the Commission said. Two other family members, Abdyl Berisha and Sanije Berisha, received life- threatening injuries.

    A several-week-old baby and two local villagers died in Senik village during the Serb shelling yesterday. Their identity was not made known yet, the Commission said. It added that the village came under heavy artillery fire and that more casualties are feared there.

    Sources in Ngucat village said two middle-aged Albanians were abducted there by Serb troops yesterday. Neither the identity nor their whereabouts could be learned yet by LDK or human rights activists, as the area is packed with Serb troops.

    Witnesses told the KIC that clouds of smoke have been billowing from Banja village today as well. The village was initially pounded with artillery, and Serb infantry entered the farmhouses, setting many of them ablaze on Thursday.

    The latest Serb offensive in Malisheva area has sent more people fleeing their homes, seeking shelter in safer areas, mainly in the nearby forests. The villages of Banja, Gajraku, Karvansaria, Bellanica, Seniku, Lladroviq, Teme^in, T&rpez& and some other hamlets, have been deserted entirely.

    [03] Two Albanians Die from Wounds Sustained Earlier

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - Two Albanians, shot annd wounded earlier this month by Serb troops, died Thursday in a village near Malisheva, local sources said.

    Shaban Gashi from Pe^an village of Suhareka was wounded during the Sreb offesnive in central and south-west Kosova last week, while Zenun Mataj, resident of Baballo^ village of De^an, had received fatal wounds earlier this month, the head of the LDK Information Commission in Malisheva said. The two were recovering in a Malisheva village, but nothing could be done to save their lives, he said.

    Shaban Gashi and Zenun Mataj could not be buried in their native villages, but in the local cemetery at Pagarusha.

    [04] Serbs Kill Two U^K Fighters in Suhareka, Order Burial of Four Other Unidentified Men

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - In Suhareka on Thursday, Serb forces killed two Albanians, member of the Liberation Army of Kosova (U^K). Naim Berisha (30) and Xhelal Ku^i (30) were killed in the fighting with Serb forces, local LDK sources said.

    The LDK Information Commission in Suhareka said that four other unidentified Albanians were buried in the suburbs of the town, at Shiroka village, yesterday. The four men were buried at a Serb police order.

    Sources in Suhareka said Thursday that four Albanians were executed on Wednesday in the area after having been rounded up by Serb troops at Duhla village.

    A large number of farmhouses in the municipality have been leveled to the ground during the huge Sreb offensive launched since last weekend. Immense damage was caused in the villages of Reshtan, Studen^an, Samadraxh&, Dob&rdolan, Pe^an, Semetisht, Sllapuzhan, Duh&l, Bllac&, Javor, Luzhnic&, Grej^evc, Budakov&, Draga^in& and in the suburbs of the town of Suhareka itself, sources said.

    The situation in the area today has been reported calmer, but a large area is still being held under a 'ring of steel' by Serb police and military troops.

    Large numbers of displaced persons continue living rough in the mountains, or else on the move in search of safe havens.

    [05] Serb Forces Shoot Dead Albanian Boy Near His Home in Gjakova

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - A 17-year-old Albanian, Ekrem Ram& Prushi, resident of Prush village near the Kosova-Albania border, was shot dead by Serb forces near his village on Wednesday evening.

    Local residents were quoted as saying that Serb troops opened fire without warning on Ekrem Prushi not far from his house.

    Meanwhile, LDK sources in Gjakova said a wide area of forests at Boka e Babajve region near the border zone has been ablaze for two days now. The local population can do nothing in preventing it from spreading, as the area has been tightly sealed off by Serb troops.

    In the town of Gjakova itself, the situation has been reported highly volatile with heavy Serb forces moving in and out of the town as well as in the direction of the border zone areas.

    Gjakova has been swelled with refugees from the war-torn areas, and food and medical supplies are running short quickly, local activists said.

    [06] Volatile Situation in Western Drenica as Serb Onslaught Continues

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - The situation in a part of Gllogovc municipality, western Drenica, which was under continued fire for five days now, has been reported still volatile today.

    Local sources said that the villages of Fushtica, Nekoc and Kizharek are being sporadically pounded with machine gun and artillery fire today too.

    Plumes of smoke could be seen billowing from these villages today morning, local sources said.

    The LDK chapter in Gllogovc said that two unidentified bodies have been laying in the fields of Orllat village since last Tuesday.

    No one dares go out and identify or collect them, fearing Serb sniper fire.

    [07] Body of Killed Albanian Taken to Mitrovica Morgue Thursday

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - At ten o'clock in the morning yesterday (Thursday), Serb police brought the body of a killed Albanian to the town hospital morgue in Mitrovica.

    Eye-witnesses told the LDK chapter in Mitrovica the still unidentified Albanian had been killed by the Serb police at a checkpoint in Klin& e Ep&rme village, municipality of Skenderaj ('Srbica').

    Meanwhile, local sources said Serb police ill-treated several Albanians today morning in the town of Mitrovica.

    Serb police manning the checkpoint at Shipol suburb opened intermittently machine gun and automatic weapons fire in the direction of the V&rnic&- Mitrovica roadway, LDK sources said.

    [08] Food Running Out, Bread for Children and Elderly Only in Lipjan Area

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - Several thounsand displaced Albanian residents from Lipjan villages, which have been sheltered in the Gryka e Shal&s (Sedlare gorge), have been in a desperate situation for days now.

    Ms Mevlude Shamolli, a member of the Lipjan LDK chapter leadership, who has been together with the displaced population, said they are threatened by appalling living conditions and lack of food.

    For three days now, as food is running out, only children and the elderly have been fed with the scarce amounts of bread still available, she said.

    The LDK chapter in Lipjan called on domestic and international organizations to intervene and help the population which is threatened by inadequate living conditions and starvation.

    [09] Police Sets 5-Day Deadline to Albanian Family to Vacate Farmhouse in Fush&-Kosova

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - Serb police ordered today the Zabelaj extended family in Sllatina village of Fush& Kosova to abandon their farmhouse in five days time, or they would be driven out by force.

    The head of the LDK Information Commission in Fush& Kosova ('Kosovo Polje') said the police did not produce any written warrant or any other explanation why the Zabelaj family was to leave their place.

    The farmhouse of the Zabelaj family is located 15 km west of Prishtina. In eighties, being the only Albanian family in Batusa village, the Zabelajs were ordered to leave the village and were allocated the site they occupy now, where they have a large farmhouse.

    A member of the family, Lavdije Zabelaj, head of the LDK Youth Forum in Fush&-Kosova, said the family would not leave the farmhouse, as they have all the supporting papers to live there.

    She said the family fears Serb police crackdown.

    [10] Local Serbs Roam Podujeva Streets in Police Uniforms

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - The local LDK chapter in Podujeva, 30 km north of capital Prishtina, described the situation in the town today as highly volatile. There has been an heavy buildup of Serb troops and a large-scale mobilization of local Serbs with the Serb troops.

    Over a dozen local armed Serbs and refugees from Croatia housed in a motel in the town were seen roaming the streets of the town today morning, after having been given police uniforms and armament in the local police station. The Serbs were stationed later to a place outside the town called 'Tabet e Llapashtic&s'.

    Sources in Podujeva said more Albanians have been subjected to Serb police harassment, both in the streets and in checkpoints.

    Gani Bejtullahu, resident of Sfe^la village, was beaten up brutally for no reason at all yesterday at the Serb police roadblock near the Besiana motel in Podujeva.

    [11] Serb Civilians Attack Neighbors in Vushtrri

    PRISHTINA, Aug 28 (KIC) - The villages of Gllavotin, Mihaliq, Be^uk and Strofc in the Vushtrri ('Vucitrn') municipality, have been regularly fired on from a neighboring Serb village of Prilluzha during the night.

    The villages are being attacked mainly with machine-gun fire, local residents said. Many houses have been badly damaged and haystacks burned over the past few days alone.

    The local school at Strofc village has been badly damaged from the Serb fire, they added.

    The village of Prilluzha has been turned into a stronghold of Serb troops and armed Serb civilians. Yugoslav army tanks, which were garrisoned near the village last month, have pounded several Albanian hamlets in the municipality.

    Kosova Information Center

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