Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Serbs vent their fury against US diplomat

Vukovar - Angry Serbs cursed the US ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, and her motorcade was stoned when she toured the last Serb- held area of Croatia yesterday.

The incident happened when Ms Albright, whose outspoken approach has led Serbs to consider her their biggest American enemy, took a walk on the streets of Vukovar, a Serb-held town in eastern Croatia, which was shelled into ruins by the Yugoslav army in late 1991.

Angry Serbs shouted: "You bitch", "Go back to Croatia", and "You fascist", when Ms Albright reached an open-air market in Vukovar. She soon returned to her car as the crowd started stoning the motorcade. Two windows were broken in one of the cars accompanying Ms Albright's. There were no injuries.

Ms Albright played down the incident, saying it did not reflect the general atmosphere, and that the leadership is still committed to the peace process.

Vukovar and the surrounding area is to be peacefully handed back to Croatia within two years, according to an agreement reached last year.

Meanwhile, it was announced yesterday that a suspected mass grave has been found in a deep cave in north-west Bosnia, near one of the worst Serb death camps. Investigators say it could contain the remains of up to 120 Muslims and Croats.

To conceal the grave, someone threw the bodies of animals and rubbish on top of the human remains and set off an explosion at the cave, a Bosnian war crimes researcher says.

The Bosnian government war crimes committee, which found the site, near the village of Lusci Palanka, said the animal remains were a ploy by the Serbs to mask the cave's horrors.

A videotape shows the inside of a deep cave containing piles of bones. One of the researchers was shown holding what he said was part of a human spine. Another Bosnian war crimes researcher, Refik Hodzic, said: "The problem is that the site of the cave has been ruined by a big detonation . . . by whoever tried to cover the traces of this crime," he said. The cave is near Omarska, one of the most notorious Serb-run camps during the war. The detention camp was closed in late 1992, following an international outcry over pictures of emaciated inmates. Experts say 11,500 people are still missing from Omarska.