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Kosova Daily Report #1718, 99-03-12

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 #1718
Prishtina, 12 March 1999


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova's Press Conference
  • [02] At Least Four Albanians Killed in V&rrini Region of Prizren on Thursday
  • [03] Vushtrri Villages Shelled by Serbian Army
  • [04] Albanians Displaced from Two Vushtrri Villages
  • [05] Heavy Gunfire Reported in Three Ka^anik Villages
  • [06] Serbian Forces Shell Llapi Villages in Northern Kosova
  • [07] Albanian Screen-Writer Suffers Broken Ribs in Serbian Police Custody in Prishtina
  • [08] Albanian Painter Found Killed on Mitrovica-Stant&rg Roadway
  • [09] One Killed Albanian in Gjakova Morgue

  • [01] President Rugova's Press Conference

    PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Ibrahim Rugova denounced today, in a press conference in Prishtina, the continued Serbian military offensive in separate parts of Kosova, which has resulted in more Albanians killed, thousands of new refugees, as well as destruction of property.

    Against this backdrop, President Rugova pressed for an urgent international intervention, adding that only the deployment of NATO troops in Kosova, as envisioned by the Rambouillet Accords, would calm the situation and provide peace and security for all the people in Kosova.

    The Kosova leader welcomed the U.S. commitment to Kosova, and expressed appreciation for the U.S. House of Representatives' resolution approving the deployment of U.S. troops in Kosova.

    We have all agreed to sign the Rambouillet deal, President Ibrahim Rugova said, in reply to a question regarding the position of the U^K on this.

    Our delegation had asked for some time to consult the people of Kosova about the agreement negotiated in France, Rugova said.

    What I can say is that we were ready to sign the agreement then, but the Serbian side was "rigid, not at all flexible" and not ready to sign, he added.

    "None can play with the fate of Kosova - neither the President, nor the Parliament, nor the U^K", President Ibrahim Rugova said, in reply to a question. He pressed on all groups participating in the Kosova delegation to act responsibly, "differently" from how some of them have been doing so far, as he put it. The situation is so difficult, so we cannot afford to have other days lost, he added.

    Therefore, "we hope this agreement will be signed soon and positive steps start - NATO troops be deployed and security created for all the citizens of Kosova but also this part of Europe", President Ibrahim Rugova said.

    He said that 90 percent of the people of Kosova is supportive of the agreement. "The U^K has likewise supported it."

    The situation we have had in the past three weeks is detrimental to the talks and prospects for peace, President Rugova said, emphasizing that the agreement, once it is concluded, will have ended "this negative trend, the painful and tragic situation in Kosova".

    The Kosova Albanian side should definitely sign the Agreement, President Ibrahim Rugova said, noting that "there is nothing to be negotiated any longer, because the framework document has already been finalized".

    Serbian Shelling of Mitrovica and Vushtrri Villages Continues PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - Serbian military and police troops pounded late Thursday evening U^K (Kosova Liberation Army) positions in the villages of Verrnic&, Vaganic&, Oshlan, Pantin& and Lkej, in the municipalities of Mitrovica and Vushtrri ('Vucitrn'), local LDK sources in Mitrovica.

    Serbs shelled Albanian villages from their positions in Frash&r i Vog&l and Pirq. There has been no immediate word on casualties or the damages.

    Serbian forces resumed shelling the five villages today at 10:00 CET.

    A dozen Serbian lorries full of soldiers, trailing heavy grenade launchers, were sent as reinforcements to the area today morning, local sources said.

    [02] At Least Four Albanians Killed in V&rrini Region of Prizren on Thursday

    PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - Between four and seven Albanians were killed in Prizren area yesterday (Thursday).

    The V&rrini villages were attacked by Serbian forces on Thursday.

    A heavy Serbian buildup was reported there today, too.

    The bodies of three killed Albanians have been taken to the Prizren town morgue. Asllan Krasniqi (62) was found killed in Ho^& e Qytetit, Muharrem Hysenaj (35), resident of Re^an village of Suhareka, was found killed near Prizren. The third man has not been identified yet.

    Serb police entering Jeshkov& village said they had found three killed Albanians there, OSCE sources were quoted as saying.

    Another Albanian was found killed today in Lybe^ev& village. It is supposed that he is Shemsedin Tha^i (22), resident of Kushtendil village. Three men of Lybe^ev& have been reported missing.

    A young Albanian, Arsim Poniku, wounded during a Serbian offensive, has been taken away from hospital by the Serbian police, local sources said.

    [03] Vushtrri Villages Shelled by Serbian Army

    7 Albanian houses burned in Stanoc village ago PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - Fresh Serb troops and armor, including five tanks, entered Vushtrri at 6:00 CET today. An hour and half later, 20 other Serb vehicles trailing combat equipment moved in there, local LDK sources said.

    The town of Vushtrri has indeed been turned into a Serbian military base.

    Five Serbian tanks and three lorries with soldiers on board left Bukosh for Mihaliq village at 7:40 CET, whereas three more tanks have been reported stationed near the village of Grac&.

    The Serbian forces positioned in Grac& started shelling the village of Mihaliq at 9:30 CET, local sources told the KIC.

    A column of Serbian forces involving more than 20 vehicles left Mitrovica heading in the direction of Oshlan and Pantin& villages today.

    Meanwhile, local LDK sources said Serbian forces burned seven Albanian houses in the village of Stanoc i Posht&m last night. They were located near the Serb-inhabited Prilluzh& village of Vushtrri.

    The Albanians had abandoned their homes in the wake of threats by Serbian paramilitaries.

    The village of Dolak was initially fired by Serbian forces Thursday afternoon, and later several houses were reported burned there.

    Serbian shelling continues today Serbian troops continued shelling the villages of Mihaliq, Druar, Strofc and others located at the foot of the ^i^avica massif. Serbs are attacking from their base at Grac&, local LDK sources said.

    Serbian forces have been stationed in the Shallc village, as well as in Druar.

    Smoke has been billowing from the attacked villages.

    An Albanian civilian has been seriously wounded during today's attacks, sources said.

    Meanwhile, local LDK sources said an U^K soldier, Bahri Ferat Ku^i (26), was killed yesterday in Balinc village of Vushtrri.

    [04] Albanians Displaced from Two Vushtrri Villages

    PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - Displaced Albanian residents from Stanofc i Ep&rm and Stanofc i Posht&m villages of Vushtrri municipalities have been streaming towards Mitrovica since the morning hours today.

    They fled their homes, because heavy Serbian troops and armor have been deployed in their villages, local LDK sources said.

    [05] Heavy Gunfire Reported in Three Ka^anik Villages

    PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - Serbian military was pounding three Ka^anik villages with heavy weapons today morning, local sources said, naming the villages as Dubrav&, Bi^ec and Kova^ec, municipality of Ka^anik.

    The population of the attacked villages, mostly women, children and elderly, started fleeing their homes, heading towards Ka^anik.

    Some 200 people remain locked in Dubrav&, though. A number of people have been reported arrested.

    A heavy Serbian presence of arms and troops has been reported in Hani i Elezit municipality, too.

    Three Albanians, including Suad Hysen Brava (18), have been reported unaccounted for since early March.

    Serbian forces have been looting Albanian households in villages abandoned by their occupants in the wake of the Serbian crackdown.

    [06] Serbian Forces Shell Llapi Villages in Northern Kosova

    PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - Serbian forces shelled today the villages of Godishnjak&, Buric& and Penuh&, municipality of Podujeva.

    The Albanian settlements and U^K positions were being shelled from Serbian positions in Lluzhan. Serbian army vehicles had arrived there earlier from Dumosh airfield, which has been turned into an army bases for months now.

    Albanian villages were shelled yesterday, too, including T&rrnav&, which had not been attacked earlier.

    The houses of three Albanian family compounds (Berisha, Bici and Kastrati) have been badly damaged by Serbian shelling, at a time many others were reported damaged in Sallabaj&.

    An Albanian, Fitim Halimi, resident of Dumnic& e Poshtme village of Podujeva, arrested three days ago in Podujeva, has not been released yet, local sources said.

    Meanwhile, reports said heavy Serbian paramilitary police forces, backed up by combat equipment, were stationed today morning in the village of Besi, 10 km north of Prishtina along the Prishtina- Podujeva highway. Serbs have been sniping the area from an Albanian house there, local LDK sources said.

    Groups of policemen stopped Albanian motorists and passers-by at Besi- Milloshev& crossroads, ill-treating many of them.

    Around the village of Leban&, straddling the Prishtina-Podujeva highway, Serbian forces and armor have been massed, sources said.

    [07] Albanian Screen-Writer Suffers Broken Ribs in Serbian Police Custody in Prishtina

    PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - Two Albanians were tortured badly by Serbian police in capital Prishtina on Wednesday evening.

    Having been routinely stopped in a police check-point near the Serbian-run District Court in downtown Prishtina early evening on Wednesday, Zeqir Hamiti (1958) and Hysen Pula were arrested and taken to a police station, where they were tortured for hours until 11:00 CET that day.

    Mr. Hamiti, a screen-writer with the Radio and Television of Prishtina (RTP) till 1990 when he was fired from his job by the Serbian regime, said he was with Pula who was giving him a lift to his place, when police routinely stopped his car. He was himself taken into a police vehicle and transferred to the police station in Prishtina, whereas his co-traveller, a car mechanic, was forced to drive himself to the police station.

    We were beaten up by uniformed and people in plain clothes in the police, Zeqir Hamiti said, who suffered two broken ribs and has bruises about his face and head.

    The police, who conducted a very sketchy interrogation of the two Albanians, would routinely accuse them of being associated with the U^K (Kosova Liberation Army), or President Ibrahim Rugova. "All of you are of the same stuff", Serb policemen would shout, while torturing Hamiti, kicking him about his body. "I had one of the ribs broken, when a man in plain clothes kicked me last in the police station" before being released, Zeqir Hamiti, who had to seek medical treatment, concluded.

    [08] Albanian Painter Found Killed on Mitrovica-Stant&rg Roadway

    PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - The mutilated body of a killed person was found early in the morning today along the Mitrovica-Stant&rg road in northern Kosova, local sources said. He was identified as Kadri Kadriu (45), a painter, resident of Mitrovica.

    Serbian police forces have been travelling in civilian cars or vehicles with no license plates at all in Mitrovica, sources said.

    [09] One Killed Albanian in Gjakova Morgue

    PRISHTINA, March 12 (KIC) - An Albanian, killed in unsolved circumstances, was taken to the Gjakova morgue yesterday.

    The still unidentified man, around 50 years of age, was found in Rakovin& village, by the roadside.

    This is the 11th person killed in mysterious circumstances in the municipality in a month, local LDK sources said.

    Heavy Serbian troops and armor have been concentrated in the border area. The village of Zylfaj was attacked with artillery, and the few remaining residents are going through an ordeal.

    Kosova Information Center

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