Boy tells of a new massacre

A WOUNDED 10-year-old boy said yesterday he saw the Serbs massacring 19 civilians in the western city of Djakovica, including members of his family.

Dren Caka crossed into the safety of Albania in a yellow Yugo car driven by his aunt and uncle. "The Serbs shot me, my mother and my three sisters," Dren said blankly, sitting in the back seat with his young cousins, his right arm bandaged from wrist to shoulder.

Dr Flori Bakalli, a refugee from Dren's home town, who is now working with Medecins du Monde, then carried the child to an operating tent set up in a field beside the frontier. The doctor asked him what had happened.

"There were 20 people underground, hiding in the cellar. There were only women and children," Dren replied. "It was about 1am. They first burnt a car on the road near the house and then they came inside, howling like wolves. They were local Serbs, they were not wearing masks. They told us to come up to the house and when we did, they said to us, `You are with the KLA', and then they shot a cupboard, and started to burn it."

His voice rose as he recounted the most horrifying details. "First, they shot a girl, she was about 13 years old, with a machine-gun. I saw that, I saw everything. They shot them one by one, in the head and in the back. I was near the door, and when they shot at me I threw myself down on the ground as if I was dead."

Dren was shot in the right arm as he lay on the floor. "And when they [the Serbs] moved away from the door I ran to another room that was burning

and full of smoke inside. I waited there and when they left, I escaped."

The boy said the attack took place on Milos Gjilic street, close to the bus station, and claimed victims from four families: the Vejsas, the Boshnajkus, the Hoxhas and the Cakas. The boy wept as doctors gently cut away his bloodied white under-shirt. Within seconds he was screaming, hysterical with pain and fear as Dr Bakalli tried to reassure him that the doctors were trying to help. The anaesthetic soon took hold and he lapsed into unconsciousness.

Slowly the doctors unwrapped a bandage covering his whole arm. On his right bicep, a bullet hole, the size of a penny, was pulsing with scarlet blood. A doctor poured iodine into the wound, but there seemed to be no exit wound. Dren's aunt, Nimeta Babalija, watched over the boy. He had managed to reach her house after the massacre, which took place at 1am on Saturday. Mrs Babalija said the boy's father was in Kosovo, in the mountains, trying to walk to Albania. He does not know of his family's fate.

Another wounded child, dressed in pink dungarees and a white shirt patterned with the letters BABY, lay on the next-door camp bed, breathing heavily and sleeping off the anaesthetic. Sadri Kelmendi, aged four, lost a chunk of his right calf to shrapnel.

The Serbs attacked his family because they took too long being ethnically cleansed from the village of Grabovica, near the Western town of Pec. "We were told to get out of our houses immediately. We got into the tractor and because we were not moving fast enough, they shelled us," said Sadri's mother, who sat on the grass outside the tent, cradling another of her children.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was a cultural giant. But prejudice and intolerance drove him to a miserable death. Now his story is to be told in film...
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats even when they are confronted with the hard-hitting scenes
Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
Life and Style
life
News
‘The Graduate’, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, was directed by Nichols in his purple period
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Argyll Scott International: FP&A Manager Supply Chain

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Argyll Scott is recruiting for a Permane...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property NQ+

£30000 - £50000 per annum + EXCELLENT: Austen Lloyd: COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOLI...

Argyll Scott International: Retail Commercial Finance Analyst

Benefits: Argyll Scott International: Due to further expansion, a leading inte...

Langley James : Senior Technician; Promotion & Training Opp; Borough; upto £32k

£27000 - £32000 per annum + training: Langley James : Senior Technician; Promo...

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines
Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?

What are Jaden and Willow on about?

Will Smith's children have made waves with a gloriously over-the-top interview, but will their music match their musings?
Fridge gate: How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces

Cold war

How George Osborne keeping his fridge padlocked shows a frosty side to shared spaces
Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

Stocking fillers: 10 best loo books

From dogs in cars to online etiquette, while away a few minutes in peace with one of these humorous, original and occasionally educational tomes
Malky Mackay appointed Wigan manager: Three texts keep Scot’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

Three texts keep Mackay’s rehabilitation on a knife-edge

New Wigan manager said all the right things - but until the FA’s verdict is delivered he is still on probation, says Ian Herbert
Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

Louis van Gaal: the liberal, the enemy and... err, the poet

‘O, Louis’ is the plaintive title of a biography about the Dutchman. Ian Herbert looks at what it tells us about the Manchester United manager