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Kosova Daily Report #1666, 99-01-17

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 #1666
Prishtina, 17 January 1999

First Edition: 12:30 CET
Second Edition: 15:00 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] Serb Forces Renew Attack on Re^ak to Undo Evidence of Horrendous Massacre of More than Fifty Albanians
  • [02] Serb Artillery Continues Pounding Re^ak Village Sunday Afternoon
  • [03] Two Albanians Killed in Gjakova Area, Two near Obiliq

  • [01] Serb Forces Renew Attack on Re^ak to Undo Evidence of Horrendous Massacre of More than Fifty Albanians

    The U^K forces fighting Serb forces and criminal Serb regime's scheme

    PRISHTINA, Jan 17 (KIC) - Serbian forces renewed shelling the village of Re^ak, Shtime municipality, today (Sunday) morning.

    More than 50 Albanians were massacred in Re^ak on Friday by Serbian army and police troops. Re^ak and the neighboring Petrov& village were pounded with heavy Serb ('Yugoslav') army artillery on Friday.

    Serb infantry troops then rounded up Albanians, herded them to a hillside up the village and executed them, shooting them from close range. Some of the dead had their eyes gouged out, or faces blown away, and a sixty-year- old man lay decapitated in the courtyard of his compound. Reportedly, the victims included two women, an infant, a 12-year-old boy and many were older men, including a 70- year-old Albanian. All the victims were dressed in civilian clothing, and most of them local farmers. The criminal Serb regime has been insisting they were "terrorists".

    The LDK chapter in Shtime said heavy Serb forces headed today to the village of Re^ak, where the bodies of over 50 Albanians massacred Friday lay still unburied.

    Local Albanian resistance forces, the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army), prevented the advancement of Serb forces into the village. The Serbs then started shelling the village from some distance, local sources said.

    The Serbian regime despatched troops, accompanied also by a Serb investigating judge, to undo evidence of the horrendous carnage of the Albanian civilian population carried out by the very same Serb troops a couple of days ago.

    Ambassador William Walker, head of the OSCE Kosova Verification Mission (KVM), who visited Saturday the site of the horrendous atrocity, called it a massacre, "an unspeakable atrocity," and "a crime very much against humanity."

    "Nor do I hesitate to accuse the [Belgrade] government security forces of responsibility," William Walker said during a press conference in Prishtina.

    The UN Yugoslav War crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, opened an investigation into the massacre, and chief prosecutor Louise Arbour was preparing to come to Kosova, with or without permission from Yugoslav authorities.

    This was probably the reason why the Serb regime embarked on a yet another criminal spree in Re^ak, now in a bid to destroy evidence, presumably by taking away the bodies of massacred Albanians.

    The Serb regime would not then hesitate to even deny there was any killing there at all, just as Serb President Milutinovic accused international observers, including Ambassador Walker, for falsely accusing the Serb forces for the massacre of Albanian civilians, who were but 'terrorists' according to the Milosevic protege.

    The President of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, denounced the massacre in the strongest terms, and called on NATO to intervene, pursuant to its ACTORDs for bombardment of Serbian installations.

    Rugova declared Sunday, 17 January, a day of national mourning in Kosova.

    Meanwhile, world leaders voiced shock and anger.

    U.S. President Clinton condemned the massacre "in the strongest possible terms."

    "This was a deliberate and indiscriminate act of murder designed to sow fear among the people of Kosovo," he said.

    In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana warned that the alliance "will not tolerate a return to all-out fighting and a policy of repression in Kosovo."

    U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan called for a full investigation, saying he was shocked and "gravely concerned."

    The Albanian government accused the Serbs of attempting genocide, and it denounced the massacre as a "Fascist act."

    [02] Serb Artillery Continues Pounding Re^ak Village Sunday Afternoon

    More than 50 Albanians were massacred by Serb troops in the village on Friday Today's is a 'battle for corpses', a Serbian attempt to destroy evidence

    PRISHTINA, Jan 17 (KIC) - Heavy Serbian army and paramilitary police troops, backed up by heavy artillery, have continued pounding the village of Re^ak, municipality of Shtime, today (Sunday) afternoon, local LDK sources said.

    At least 51 Albanians, including women, children and elderly civilians, were massacred by Serbian troops in the village of Re^ak on Friday, according to local Albanian sources in the area.

    Heavy army and police troops had besieged, shelled the village of Re^ak, then rounded up villagers and executed them two days ago.

    LDK sources said Serbian forces have been firing today from their positions at "Kodra e G&shtenjave" and "^esta e Re^akut". Serb forces have blocked roads leading to the towns of Prizren and Ferizaj.

    Reports from Shtime said Serbian forces have continued their campaign of arrest of scores of Albanian civilians today, by and large Re^ak residents. The Albanian detainees have been reported taken to the Serb police station in Ferizaj. (Families were told Albanian men rounded up by Serb forces Friday would be taken for questioning to Ferizaj. They were in fact executed at point-blank range at the village end, in a hillside.) Local armed Serb civilians have joined forces with the Serb regular army and police in their campaign of terror against the local Albanian population, local sources said today.

    Today, Sunday, is a day of national mourning in Kosova, in observance of the 50-plus victims of the Re^ak massacre carried out by Serbian troops.

    Today's Serbian attack on the village of Re^ak is apparently aimed at destroying the evidence of the Serbian massacre of Albanians in the area, Albanian politicians in Kosova said, calling this a "battle for corpses" launched by the Serbian regime.

    Yugoslav authorities breach the cease-fire, OSCE says General John Drewienkewicz of the OSCE Kosova Verification Mission (KVM) slammed as a "very provocative act and another breach of the cease-fire on the part of the Yugoslav authorities" the decision to have a Serb investigative judge move towards Re^ak village, escorted by armed police, "to carry out the investigation required by Yugoslav law."

    In a press release issued by the KVM Sunday afternoon, the General said he had offered to help Judge Danica Markovic move to Re^ak, "provided the Judge's party did not include any armed police", at a time the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) had agreed to allow an "unarmed group into the village".

    The Serb judge refused to consider moving without armed police, although British army Major-General John Drewienkiewicz, deputy head of the international monitoring team in Kosova, explained he "had [OSCE] verifiers in Re^ak and would need time to withdraw them if she decided to proceed with an armed police escort."

    At 11:05 hrs the Serb judge informed him she would go ahead with armed police and "gave me no time to order my verifiers to withdraw", Drewienkewicz said.

    The meeting of the OSCE KVM General and the Serb side broke up at 11:10 hrs with "the sound of small arms and mortar fire in the background", the press release said.

    The KVM verifiers withdrew in the meantime, the General said, slamming the "very provocative act...on the part of the Yugoslav authorities."

    [03] Two Albanians Killed in Gjakova Area, Two near Obiliq

    An Albanian tortured to death in Serb police custody in Gjakova PRISHTINA, Jan 17 (KIC) - An Albanian, Halit Aliaj (48), has been reported tortured to death in Serb police custody in Gjakova.

    He had his house raided and was himself arrested by Serb police in his village of Pacaj, municipality of Gjakova, on Friday.

    "While in police custody, Halit Aliaj, father of five, was tortured barbarically to death", the LDK chapter in Gjakova said. Ryve Aliaj, the late man's wife, said she herself and their 18-year-old daughter, Lindita, were also physically abused by police on Friday.

    Meanwhile, on Saturday evening, Serbian forces took the body of Hamdi Mulaj (1964) to the town morgue in Gjakova, LDK sources said, adding that he had been killed by Serbian forces in the Kosova- Albania border area.

    On Friday evening, unknown assailants shot and fatally wounded Sabedin Rexhepi (1944) and his son, Samed Rexhepi (1982), at Shkabaj ('Orlovic') village, half a dozen km west of Prishtina.

    Father and son were in their jeep, when they were shot from an ambush. The two died on their way to hospital.

    Kosova Information Center

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