Liberation Of Kosovo: Looting: Nato watches Kosovars strip village clean
Monday 21 June 1999
Serbs in the village of Grece, 10 miles north of the Kosovo capital Pristina, had apparently been warned on Saturday night by returning Albanians that they should leave immediately. Early yesterday morningdozens of tractors and trailers arrived in the tiny village and the Albanians set about taking anything they could find.
As well as the obvious items such as televisions and washing machines, the Albanians loaded their vehicles with bricks, roof tiles, bags of cement and sacks of animal feed. The looters even ripped out door frames and doors - anything they could use to rebuild their own ravaged homes and farms. As soon as they had emptied each house of everything they wanted, they set it alight.
A group of French troops in armoured vehicles sat and watched. At one point they even helped the looters - assisting them to back out the tractors piled high with booty to allow the next ones in. When asked why they were doing nothing, the soldiers said it was not their problem: this was a British-controlled sector.
The British were no better. At the end of a track a few hundred yards from the village, soldiers - again in armoured vehicles - sat smoking cigarettes as the morning air turned acrid with smoke. Their excuse was equally poor - "We can do nothing - this is the French-controlled zone," said one. When it was pointed out that this was not true the soldiers claimed that with their "available resources" they could do little.
Yesterday evening Grece was still smouldering, pigs were running loose in the carefully tended vegetable gardens and clothes and food packets were strewn around the courtyards.
A Nato spokesman in Pristina said yesterday evening that the British commander on the ground had taken the decision not to intervene to stop the looting in order to avoid the threat to "life and limb".
- 1 Howard Jacobson: Let's see the 'criticism' of Israel for what it really is
- 2 Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
- 4 PornHub begs users to stop uploading video clips of Brazil getting beaten 7-1
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Instagram of US airport security chiefs: Lipstick knives and IED training kits among items seized
Gingers face extinction due to climate change, scientists warn
Mick Jagger denies being World Cup curse and reason for Brazil’s embarrassing defeat
Do you know this man? Amnesia sufferer found in park pleads for help in identifying who he is
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
There’s a nasty smell in the political air – and it’s coming from the Tories
Vanessa Feltz criticises 'vile' reaction to Rolf Harris allegations
£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...
£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...
£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...