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Kosova Daily Report #1536, 98-08-29

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 #1536
Prishtina, 29 August 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] "Europe's Shame", Cries Senior LDK Official Visiting Refugees in Malisheva Area Today
  • [02] At Least Ten Killed During Shelling of Albanian Refugees in Senik Mountains
  • [03] UNHCR Reports 17 Albanians Killed by Serb Fire
  • [04] Five Albanians Lacking Medical Treatment Die in Malisheva Village
  • [05] Taft Pledges More U.S. Funds for Kosova Refugees, Says Belgrade Preparing 11 Centers in Kosova
  • [06] Bujku Dossier: Six Months of Serbian Aggression in Kosova
  • [07] Serb Police Retrieve Bones of 10 Serbs, Allegedly Killed by the U^K
  • [08] Serbs Resume Shelling West Drenica Villages, Numerous Casualties Feared
  • [09] Half a Dozen Albanians Taken Off a Bus, Arrested by Police in Lluzhan
  • [10] Serb Police Arrests Doctor in Skenderaj
  • [11] Over 32,000 Refugees Sheltered in Prizren Area
  • [12] Four Sick Women Holed Up in Village near Klina for Five Weeks Now

  • [01] "Europe's Shame", Cries Senior LDK Official Visiting Refugees in Malisheva Area Today

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - A delegation of the Parliament of the Republic of Kosova, and representatives of political parties and NGOs visited the Malisheva area, in central Kosova, today.

    Having toured Malisheva, Gjergj Dedaj, deputy speaker of the Parliament of Kosova and leader of the Liberal Party (PLK), told the KIC by phone the situation of Albanian refugees was appalling.

    He called for international help to save the people attacked by the Serb military and paramilitary police.

    Mr. Binak Ulaj, a senior member of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF), said international organizations have not been discharging their duties. The refugees are in a terrible situation, he said.

    Mrs Nekibe Kelmendi, Secretary-General of the LDK, said the international community has turned a deaf ear to the humanitarian catastrophe that has befallen the Albanian people. "It is a shame for Europe to allow the destruction of a people by [Serb] armed attacks and the humanitarian disaster", she said angrily.

    [02] At Least Ten Killed During Shelling of Albanian Refugees in Senik Mountains

    * Tens of wounded with no medical attention at all * Refugees spent the night amidst stormy rain and lightning PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - In the afternoon hours on Thursday, from positions in Kle^ka the Serbian police shelled the Albanian displaced population camping out in the mountains of Senik, local sources said.

    The LDK chapter in Suhareka said the civilian population bore the brunt of the Serb fire from heavy and small arms.

    At least ten of them are known to have been killed, five of whom have been identified as: Hyre Ramaj (f, 60) from Senik village, Albin Ramaj (4) from Senik, Sevdije Krasniqi (f, 24) from Carralluk& village, Halime Halitaj (f, 17) from Senik, and Zade Kelmendi (f). Three killed have been reported to be natives of Banj& village of Malisheva. Their identity is still unknown.

    The huge number of wounded persons has been reported.

    The following wounded Albanians are known by name: Feride Ramaj (f, 30), Sahadete Ramaj (f, 35), Jeton Ramaj (11), Ylfete Ramaj (f, 26), Fatime Ramaj (f, 23) and Besmir Ramaj (4), all from Senik village, who are said to be in a serious condition; then Ram& Krasniqi (65), Fatmir Krasniqi, Lulzim Krasniqi (12) from Carralluk& village, Alush Gashi (40) from Carralluk&, Sofije Shala (22) together with her son, Bajram Iballi (50) from Bllac& village; Rifat Halitaj (55), Florim Halitaj (21), Ganimete Halitaj (f, 27), Arb&r Halitaj (4), all from Senik village.

    All thw wounded are said to be in serious condition, and without any medical attention at all. They have not received even the first aid, LDK sources said.

    The LDK chapter said the shelling of Senik resumed Friday, too. The family of Ismajl Zulfaj had ten of its members wounded. Ten other people, who were staying with this family, were likewise wounded, the chapter said.

    The Albanian people camping out in the Senik mountains spent the night in stormy rains and lightning.

    These people have nothing. Serb forces drove them out of their homes, set them ablaze. Now they are shelling them in the mountains, where they have fled to in search of safety. The little personal belonging and the scarce food supplies have been destroyed by the Serb shelling there, too, LDK sources said.

    In the mountains, from the village of Ngucat to Senik as many as 30,000 people are living rough. Three mothers delivered children there on Thursday. The number of sick people, especially children, is high, sources said.

    The leadership of the LDK chapter in Suhareka called on politicians and humanitarian organizations to do whatever is in their power to save these people in danger. Catastrophe will befall them in case something is not done immediately, it added.

    [03] UNHCR Reports 17 Albanians Killed by Serb Fire

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - At least 17 ethnic Albanian civilians were killed by Serbian fire in one small area of central Kosova on Friday, said the U.N. refugee agency, whose aid workers saw eight of the bodies, Reuters reported Friday.

    Residents of Senik, near Malisheva, told staffers of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees that 16 people died in shelling Thursday, according to UNHCR spokesman Fernando del Mundo, The Associated Press reported.

    The two news agencies cited the same source and gave the same story, excepting that the day differs (Thursday or Friday?).

    The local KIC sources in Suhareka, referring to more than 10 Albanians killed and scores wounded in Senik mountains, said this all happened during Serb shelling on Thursday and Friday.

    Among the corpses seen by U.N. workers were those of a 10-month old baby and a four-year-old boy whose head was blown off by tank fire, Reuters reported.

    "We had a UNHCR (U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees) team in the Maljisevo area today and they reported at least 17 people were evidently killed in the area in police assaults today," said Fernando del Mundo, a UNHCR spokesman, on Friday.

    "A 75-year-old man was killed by sniper fire in the village of Guncat [Ngucat] and two others including his wife were wounded, residents told our team."

    "In the village of Senik people told us that tanks had fired from one kilometer (1,000 yards) away and killed at least 16 people. Our team saw eight bodies, including a baby who died in the arms of its mother and a young boy with his head missing," del Mundo was quoted as saying.

    Del Mundo said houses in Senik were still burning from the attack when his team was in the village and that as many as 50 people were believed to have been wounded there on Friday, Reuter reported.

    Names of Other 5 Albanians Killed in Suhareka Revealed

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - The local LDK Information Commission in Suhareka said today it has learned the identity of five other Albanians killed during the latest Serb offensive against Albanian villages in the area.

    Imer Jahaj (50), Jahir Sylaj (65), Remzi Sylaj (40), Ibish Sylaj (72), and Sahit Jahaj (60), were all killed in their village of Sllapuzhan, on 24 and 25 August. Another resident of Sllapuzhan, Besim Sylaj (17), was wounded, the LDK said.

    The Commission said the situation in the area was a bit calmer today. The Serb shelling has died out, though there is ubiquitous presence and movement of troops with heavy artillery and other combat equipment, including bulldozers, it added.

    [04] Five Albanians Lacking Medical Treatment Die in Malisheva Village

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - At least five Albanians have died over the past few days in the Malisheva region because of lack of medical treatment, local sources said.

    An LDK activist in Pagarusha village, Adem Krasniqi, told the KIC that Dinore Sika^i (f, 68) from Dob&rdolan village and Islam Byty^i (55) from De^an died on 25 August. They both needed specialist medical treatment, but it was impossible to get them transferred to a bigger town, as the area is being kept under a deadly siege by Serb troops.

    Two other Albanians in their early twenties, Shaban Gashi from De^an and Zenun Martaj from Baballo^ village of De^an, and a 4-month-old girl from Javor village of Malisheva, died two days ago. The two men were wounded earlier and were being treated in a Malisheva village.

    Adem Krasniqi told the KIC that Halim Balaj (40), resident of Dob&rdolan village, was shot dead while attempting to enter his village and evacuate his paralysed parents holed up in their house.

    Another Albanian, Ismet Byty^i (50), from Semetisht village of Suhareka was killed and mutilated, he said.

    [05] Taft Pledges More U.S. Funds for Kosova Refugees, Says Belgrade Preparing 11 Centers in Kosova

    The Albanian people of Kosova are apprehensive about the idea of Belgrade setting up centers where Albanian refugees would be provided with anything PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - The United States should invest millions of dollars into refugee relief into Kosova to avoid a "catastrophe that is looming", Assistant Secretary of State Julia Taft said on Friday.

    Taft, the senior U.S. official for refugee issues, met Thursday in Prishtina with President Ibrahim Rugova of Kosova and Friday in Belgrade with 'FRY' Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Sainovic, after seeing at first hand the plight of some of the hundreds of thousands of people driven from their homes by the fighting in Kosova.

    "I have asked my office and the State Department to prepare a request for (President Bill Clinton) to allow us to invest immediately many millions more dollars to try to contribute to averting this disaster," she told a press conference later.

    The United States has already spent 11 million dollars on relief efforts in Kosova.

    "The snows come early to this part of the world ... We have to deal with this humanitarian crisis right now because its outcome will also affect the political outcome," Assistant Secretary of State Taft said.

    She rated the size of the potential catastrophe at nine on a scale of one to 10 and urged the Yugoslav government to stop obstructing the work of international aid organizations, Reuter reported from Belgrade.

    Taft said Belgrade was preparing 11 centers in Kosovo where refugees would be provided with building materials, food, water and electricity, Reuter added.

    "The planning for those centers is going on now - these will not be safe heavens but they are going to be placed where there will be opportunity for people to come down from the mountains," the senior U.S. official was quoted as saying.

    The Albanian people of Kosova - who have had hundreds of their own killed, a number of towns and scores of villages levelled to the ground by the Serb artillery in the past six months - are apprehensive about the idea of Belgrade setting up centers where Albanian refugees would be provided with anything.

    It is Milosevic's troops that have caused the appalling destruction Ms Taft acknowledged to have seen herself in Kosova this week.

    Belgrade has created 400,000 Albanian refugees and displaced people after having destroyed their homes and villages up and down Kosova in the past six months.

    On Friday, Serb tank fire killed 16 Albanians and wounded scores of others in the mountains of Senik, in central Kosova, where they had sought safety after having been bombed out of their villages.

    The mainstream Kosova authorities, including the main political force the LDK, have called for international support in securing the safe return of Albanian refugees to their homes in Kosova and the channelling of relief supplies and other help through a concerted action and cooperation of domestic Kosovar and international organizations.

    [06] Bujku Dossier: Six Months of Serbian Aggression in Kosova

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - The Prishtina-based Albanian language daily Bujku carries today a six-page dossier entitled "Six Months of Serbian Aggression in Kosova".

    A comprehensive account of the Serb criminal record in Kosova is preceded by an editorial entitled "Repeated Patterns" authored by Avni Spahiu, the Bujku editor-in-chief.

    "The tragic record of the six-month Serbian crime in Kosova is evident proof of [Serbian] efforts to exterminate the Albanian population, completion of ethnic cleansing and the undoing of the ethnic, biologic and economic existence: near 1000 killed, over 800 missing or held hostage, over 400 settlements and villages destroyed, over 14,000 buildings ruined, over 380,000 refugees and displaced Albanians.", Avni Spahiu writes.

    Meanwhile, the LDK chapter in De^an said over 130 Albanians have been killed by Serb troops in the De^an municipality alone.

    Eight villages have been destroyed to the scale of 90 percent, eight others (including the town of De^an) to the scale of 75 percent, half a dozen others to the scale of 50 percent, Osman Cacaj, the senior LDK member in De^an told the KIC.

    [07] Serb Police Retrieve Bones of 10 Serbs, Allegedly Killed by the U^K

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - Serb police retrieved the bones of 10 Serb civilians whom Serb officials said the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) executed a month ago in their former mountaintop base of Kle^ka, which Serb government forces overran Thursday, the Associated Press (AP) reported Friday.

    Serb authorities took an Associated Press Television crew Friday to Kle^ka, where police and civilian volunteers wearing plastic gloves picked through the bones of the five men, three women and two children whom officials said were executed by the U^K.

    [08] Serbs Resume Shelling West Drenica Villages, Numerous Casualties Feared

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - Serb troops pounded for several hours with artillery fire the villages of Nekoc, Kizharek&, Fushtic& e Ul&t, Sankoc and parts of Komoran on Friday afternoon and evening, local sources reported.

    The LDK chapter in Gllogovc said it could learn that there were casualties, both fatalities and wounded people, in the villages attacked by Serb forces yesterday. It said it could not establish their identities yet.

    Residents of the Zabeli i Ul&t village were ordered by Serb troops yesterday to surrender weapons they allegedly possessed and abandon the village unless they wanted to see themselves scorched. The Serb set ablaze today unharvested wheatfields near this village, the source said.

    The head of the LDK Information Commission in Gllogovc said many residents of this 99 per cent Albanian-inhabited municipality have been missing for months. There are still many displaced persons living rough in the mountains of the region, and running quickly short of basic medical and food supplies.

    A few days ago a 3-month-old girl died in Kleqka village, because her parents could not get her medical treatment.

    [09] Half a Dozen Albanians Taken Off a Bus, Arrested by Police in Lluzhan

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - Since early in the morning until 14:00 hrs today (Saturday), Serb police backed up by an armored vehicle and several other cars carried a strict inspection of people and cars in the village of Lluzhan, straddling the Prishtina-Podujeva roadway, 18 km north of capital Prishtina.

    LDK sources from Podujeva said at least six young Albanians were arrested by police today at the Lluzhan crossroads. They were taken off a bus commuting between Prishtina and Podujeva, and taken to the Serb police station in Podujeva, the town with 99 percent Albanian population.

    An unspecified number of young Albanians were arrested in a Serb police checkpoint in the entrance to Podujeva, according to eye- witness accounts cited by the LDK chapter in the town.

    The detainees were presumed from other municipalities, taken off a bus leaving Kosova for abroad.

    Two Serb police armored cars patrolled heavily the streets of Podujeva today, local sources said.

    [10] Serb Police Arrests Doctor in Skenderaj

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - Dr. Ismet Miftari (45), a physician with the local hospital in Skenderaj (Srbica'), has been reported in Serb police custody since Friday afternoon.

    Sources in Skenderaj said Dr. Miftari was arrested in a bus stopped at a police checkpoint yesterday. He was on his was back home from work. He was taken off the bus and taken to a police station without any explanation whatsoever.

    The LDK chapter in Vushtrri ('Vucitrn') said today that an Albanian, Ahmet Seferi (38) from Shallc village, was tortured brutally at the local Serb police station in the town.

    Mr. Seferi said he had gone to the police to collect his new ID. He was ordered to enter one of the rooms there, and beaten up brutally. He had no idea why he was picked up from the queue, and beaten up.

    [11] Over 32,000 Refugees Sheltered in Prizren Area

    Remains of six unidentified persons buried in town cemetery Friday PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - The number of uprooted persons sheltered in Prizren reached 32.000 by this weekend, human aid groups in the area said.

    The population of Prizren was further swelled with new arrivals over the past week in the wake of a Serb offensive against Albanian communities in the central and south-west Kosova municipalities of Suhareka, Malisheva, Lipjan and Shtime.

    Local organizations involved in sheltering and catering for the refugees said most of them have been provided with shelter, but added there is growing shortage of food and medical items.

    The refugees have been given sanctuary in the town of Prizren itself well as in the surrounding villages of Mamush&, Medvec, Piran&, Korish&, Grejkoc, Gjinoc, Randobrav&, Krush& e Vog&l, Landovic&, Lutogllav&, Mal&si e Re, Dushanov&, etc.

    Witnesses told the LDK chapter in Prizren that the bodies of six unidentified persons were buried in the local cemetery on Friday.

    Bodies of eleven Albanians, presumably killed in the border area with Albania, were taken by Serb forces to the town morgue in Prizren earlier last week.

    [12] Four Sick Women Holed Up in Village near Klina for Five Weeks Now

    PRISHTINA, Aug 29 (KIC) - Four elderly and sick Albanian women have been holed up in the village of Siqeva near Klina since 21 July, when the rest of the population fled in the face of Serb attack in the village.

    Sources in Klina named the four women who remained in Siqeva village as: Have Hasanaj (90), immobile, native of Gllareva but sheltered earlier in Siqeva, Zize Hoti (65) from Shtupel village also shelter earlier there, Naile Rraci (60) and Cyme Rraci (40), both of them residents of Siqeva, the former deaf and the latter mentally handicapped.

    Kosova Information Center

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