War In The Balkans: Serbs `massacred 300 men from one town'
Refugees said that one week earlier, the Kosovo Liberation Army had ambushed a car in Meja village, killing five policemen and an officer.
According to the traumatised refugees now camped in Kukes, across the border from Kosovo, the day-long slaughter claimed the lives of more than 300 ethnic Albanian men trying to move with their families to safety in Albania.
On Tuesday, 27 April, thousands of people were ordered out of their homes in villages around the southern Kosovan town of Djakovica and told to head for Albania. The minor road they were travelling on passes through Meja, a small village where dozens of soldiers and police, some wearing masks, were gathered.
Had Mehmeti, a woman whose husband, Ram, and 17-year-old son are missing, feared dead, described how the Serbs stopped their tractors, checking for men and ordering them out.
By 11am, more than 100 men had been detained, according to Muharrem Gaxharri, whose son Ibrahim, 38, was taken by the Serbs. "They showed them a wall. They had guns, and said go there. They did not explain," he added. This continued all day.
At 5pm Mrs Mehmeti and her family reached the village, hitching a ride in a stranger's tractor. Many dead were piled up in the centre of Meja, beside the road. "The Serbs forced my son to get out first ... and then my husband. They pushed them over to another man, and made them stand in a line," Mrs Mehmeti said.
Some 30 minutes later, the last of the convoy straggled through. "We saw a collection of bodies thrown on top of each other - maybe 300 people who were killed," said Zizi Salihu. "Nearby, we saw another 50 men, kneeling ...
As Mrs Salihu passed the men who had been detained, kneeling on the ground, she recognised the Mehmetis, father and son. She has no idea what happened to her own husband.
"As we were leaving we heard some shots fired but we are not sure if they were really killed, or if the Serbs were just doing it to frighten us."
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...