Footage of massacre played to Milosevic

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The Independent Online

Serb forces fired machine guns and grenades at a column of fleeing ethnic Albanians under a white banner, killing 109 people as the bloody Kosovo war neared its conclusion, a survivor testified yesterday in the trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

"It was dark when the shooting began," Sabit Kadriu said, recalling the night of 2 May 1999 when he and thousands of other Albanians fled a Serbian rampage in northern Kosovo. "We heard grenades, children crying ... 109 people were killed that night." Village elders carried a white banner identifying them as civilians, he said.

Prosecutors displayed footage of Mr Kadriu's convoy before it was shelled: villagers gathering on a meadow in daylight, their belongings piled on top of tractors and trailers.

Then the video shows what Mr Kadriu, who worked for the Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms, which tracked Serbian violence in Kosovo, described as the aftermath: scattered bodies of several young men, bullet holes through their jackets, some with head wounds. A woman's body lies in a nearby field. Smoke rises from burning houses in the background.

Mr Milosevic is on trial for war crimes and genocide in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia, during the violent break-up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.