Serbs butcher Kosovo children

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THE HORRIFIC evidence of mass murder lies mangled and twisted in the bushes of the Drenica region of the devastated Serbian province of Kosovo.

The massacred bodies of children - backs arched and mouths stretched open in terror - lie sprawling on the ground, victims of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic's "war against Albanian terrorists" in the province.

Some were shot in the back of the head. Others have throats cut or mutilated limbs. The killers slit the throat of one 10-year-old boy, blew out his mother's brains, cut open the stomach of another female relative and shot a pregnant woman in the head.

Two days later they remained unburied, sprawled in the forest where they died.

The massacre came a day after Serbia's Prime Minister, Mirko Marjanovic, boasted to the Belgrade parliament that "peace reigns today in Kosovo", and amid promises that Serbian security forces in the province will be pulled back to their bases.

The gruesome evidence of just what Serbia's "war against terrorism" is costing the Albanian civilian population of Kosovo - so reminiscent of the Serbs' campaign of ethnic cleansing in Bosnia in 1992 - was discovered near the village of Obrinje by a group of European diplomats representing the six-nation Contact Group. Diplomats from the group - including Britain - are meeting in London today to discuss the Balkans.

"The Serb police executed everybody," said an old man, one of the few surviving witnesses.

Both sides have accused the other of torture. The Serbian government says at least 39 Serbs were tortured, mutilated and killed near the village of Glodjane earlier this month.