Liberation of Kosovo: 100 massacres, 10,000 dead - a catalogue of horror reveals depth of Serb depravity

Friday 18 June 1999 00:02 BST

AT LEAST ten thousand Kosovar civilians are now believed to have been murdered in one hundred massacres by Serb forces between 25 March, the day after Nato bombing began and June 10 when the bombing ended.

Yesterday the British government released the following details of massacres taken from refugees accounts, intelligence reports and Kosovo Liberation Army sources.

The allegations refer to 66 separate massacres carried out by Serb forces in Kosovo during two months of slaughter. Details of a further 40 massacres carried out during the same period are being kept secret by the government to protect the identity of intelligence sources. The final toll may never be known.

25 March 1999

Serb Forces "massacred" 20 Kosovar schoolteachers in Goden and Zylfaj, near Dobrune on the Kosovo-Albania border.

Yugoslav Army (VJ forces) rounded up 20,000 ethnic Albanian civilians in Qurez Village.

26 March

Serb Forces set the entire Podujevo neighbourhood alight and carried out massacres of civilian ethnic Albanians.

Serb Forces attacked and burned the villages of Rahovec and Babaj Eoks, near the Kosovo - Albania border.

27 March

Two Yugoslav airforce MIGs bombed the Kosovar village of Berisha.

35 people (including 7 children and 2 invalids) found massacred in the village of Bela Cerkva (between Orahovan and Djakovica).

500 people massacred in villages in the Orahovac area

Bodies of 200 massacred Albanians seen in the Pristina Hospital morgue.

Serb paramilitary gangs reported to have killed 70 Kosovars in 2 houses in Djakovica.

A prominent Kosovar Albanian lawyer and his two sons shot dead by Serb police in Pristina having been taken from their home on the first night of NATO air strikes.

20 Kosovar Albanians burned inside their houses in Gjakova and a further 12 executed in Pec.

28 March

Serb "Special Forces" sealed the routes leading out of Pristina to use the population as human shields against NATO airstrikes. Anyone attempting to leave the town was either maltreated or killed.

30,000 Kosovars forcibly expelled from Pec.

53 Kosovar Albanians massacred by Serbs at Bellaja Bridge (between Bellacerk, Celina and Rugova).

29 March

Unconfirmed reports that Serb forces clinically cleansed Pec.

30 March

80 Kosovars killed in Djakovica.

Village of Arllat (West of Pristina) burned by Serb forces.

31 March

100 Kosovars killed in Djakovica by Serb forces

22 Kosovar Albanians murdered by Serbs and buried in a mass grave in the village of Kotlink

1 April

18 Kosovar Albanians killed in the village of Burim (near Malisevo), Simetishi, Studengani and Samadaxhe (near Suva Reka). The majority of those killed were elderly.

Serbian Forces separated 35 men from their families in the village of Lybeniq (near Pec) and executed them prior to evicting their families from their homes which were then set on fire.

2 April

An unconfirmed report states that 70 Kosovar Albanians were found massacred in a school in the village of Pastasei (West of Pristina).

4 April

35 Kosovar Albanians executed in the village of Sopi (near Suva Reka).

7 April

51 bodies of (including men, women and 5 children) discovered in the village of Celin (SW of Orahovac)

9 April

Kosovar women systematically raped at a VJ training camp at Djakovica. Twenty women reported to have died as a result.

Serb Forces alleged to have killed 15 members of the same family near the town of Istak.

Three villages (not identified) in the Kacanik area attacked and set on fire. 1000 Serbian reinforcements arrived in the village of Stari Trg and burnt all the Albanian houses.

Serb Forces alleged to have massacred 45 Kosovar Albanians in Kacanik. A further 6 Kosovars were wounded and another 6 taken hostage. 12 KLA personnel reported to be among those killed.

14 April

Serb helicopters are alleged to have attacked a groups of refugees near Prizren killing 40 of them.

Serb Forces reported to have killed 47 Kosovar Albanian males in Djakovica.

Signs of a mass grave in Velika Krusa seen from the air. 40 Kosovar males allegedly killed in the village according to refugees.

16 April

Serb Forces are alleged to have set fire to the villages around Lipljan.

Serb forces are alleged to have massacred 45 of 50 Kosovar civilians that fell into their hands in the Pec area

18 April

FRY alleged to have shelled a group of refugees on the high ground between Lapuanik and Orlate (about 35kms W of Pristina). Of the estimated 10,000 refugees, 100 were said to have been killed.

VJ rounded up ethnic Croats and Hungarians to be used as human shields to protect VJ installations in the province.

Serbian forces allegedly lodged an attack on 40,000 refugees in the Berishk Mountains in Kosovo from positions in Tkrepezk and Krizharekk.

Serb police and para-military units killed 40 Kosovar Albanians in eight (not individually identified) villages in the Lipljan area.

19 April

Serb forces are alleged to have burned eight villages near Istok. The villages are Novosclik, Jabllanick, e Vogki, Jablianick e Madhe, Kaligan, Sludenick, Vrellk and Prigodk.

20 April

Six Kosovar refugees (including a 70-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy) were killed on the Kosovar Montenegro border near Rozaje by unidentified uniformed forces.

24 April

The UCK claim to have found the bodies of 15 Kosovars (including a young boy) that had been executed in the Shale area of Northern Kosovo (nfi - the village of Shale or Salce is located south of Vucium (4245N02056E).

The UCK Press stated that up to six Kosovar Albanians were executed in the Gnjilane area. In a separate report Serb forces have seized six young Albanian women in the village of Kalundi Vjekr, in the Urosevac area. The report added that 20 other women were raped in the village of Mirash (4226N02113E).

25 April

UCK claim to have evidence of recent massacres committed by Serb Forces in Kosovo: 61 people were killed in the village of Poklek, 51 in Koliq village and more than 160 in Izbica district of Skenderaj (Drenica).

26 April

Refugees arriving in Albania have told the UNHCR that a group of women and young children are being held as a human shield i n Prizren. They are located in a 3 storey building which also houses an ammunition store and quartering for troops.

Refugees claim that over 100 Kosovars had been killed in the village of Slavina. Presumably by Serb forces.

Refugees alleged that Serb forces had stopped their refugee convoy in the SW Kosovo village of Meja (unlocated). They stated that 280 men were forced into a field. A second report stated that refugees had seen bodies in a field and 1,000 men under guard. Comment: There is no information to substantiate these reports or any confirmation that the reports are in any way linked to the same incident.

28 April

Serb forces are alleged to be carrying out ethnic cleansing in the Presevo area which is outside the borders of Kosovo itself in Serbia proper.

30 April

The US based human rights group Human Rights Watch alleged that having conducted interviews with 19 Kosovar "witnesses" over the last three days it had concluded that VJ and MUP forces had murdered between 100-300 Kosovar men and boys in the village of Meja earlier in the week. Comment: This report refers to the incident reported by BBC Ceefax earlier on 30 Apr 99.

Commenting on the numbers of refugees entering Albania from Kosovo, the UNHCR believed that the "final cleansing" of Prizren was underway. Between 5-6,000 are believed to have crossed the border since 300600Z Apr 99.

UNHCR said it believed that the "final cleansing" of Prizren was underway.

1 May

Nijazi Bajrami aKosovar refugee in the Stankovic refugee camp in Macedonia claimed that the Serbs had sliced off his ear four days previously. A large dressing on his head where his ear used to be.

2 May

Refugees claim the Serb forces had expelled nearly 20,000 Kosovar residents of Prizren in operations that had lasted two days. The city was reported as being nearly deserted.

4 May

Refugee reported seeing a young man shot and when the Serbs saw that he was not dead, they drove over him in an APC to finish the job. (No locations or dates were mentioned in this report).

Refugees recently arrived in Kules, Albania reported a massacre of civilians along a route from Studime and Vushtri. An estimated 50 to "several hundred" bodies were seen. All men of military age are being separated from their families and summarily executed.

5 May

Serb forces are alleged to have massacred 150 civilians from 4 villages in the Drenica region. Villagers from Vergoc, Quirez, Shtukiz and Glanzalieto were marched towards mass graves and then shot. Another group of 30 were forced to undress and were subjected to "unprecedented" violence and brutality before being killed near Shavarina.

6 May

Mass graves of ethnic Albanians, mostly young victims (youngest cited was a 12-year-old) of Serb forces found. 50 bodies of ethnic Albanians who had been killed in the past two weeks. Bodies had been found on a road in Rezalle (south of Serbia), with a mass grave in the same place. In a separate report the Serb police buried 70 bodies in a graveyard in Zesi on 2 May

15 May

12 Kosovar youths aged between 12-16 years executed in the village of Izbice, in reprisal for the killing of a Serb soldier.

16 May

Kosovar "eye-witness" alleged that the Serbs were holding Kosovars in Korisa as human shields.

Yugoslav army alleged to have seized up to 150 male Kosovar refugees aged between 15 and 40 as they tried to flee Kosovo via Montenegro. On 17 May subsequent reports indicate that 106 Kosovar males seized over the weekend by the VJ on the Albanian, Montenegro border had been released.

17 May

A group of approx 100 Kosovar men rounded up by Serb soldiers as they attempted to leave Montenegro for Albania on 15 May 99.They were transported across the country into Serbia before being released on 17 May. The men, aged between 15 and 55, allege that while being held by the Serbs they were beaten, robbed and in some cases forced to strip naked and perform oral sex on each other.

18 May

David Scheffer, the US State Dept ambassador-at-large for war crimes, claims at least 5,000 people, and probably many more, had been killed in mass executions in 75 villages in Kosovo.

27 May

25 men aged 12-50 killed by the MUP in a suburb of Prizren having been forced from their homes and shot.

28 May

Between 350 and 400 Kosovar men held as human shields in a calf farm in Krajkovo. A further 70 Kosovars held at an elementary school in the town.

29 May

Serb forces register the remaining Kosovars in these towns and issuing them new green registration cards. They forcibly evicted those not normally resident.

30 May

A Yugoslav says he transported the bodies of Kosovar civilians and VJ soldiers in a refrigerated van from locations in Kosovo to a foundry at an undisclosed location in Serbia on a routine basis since February. He said the bodies were cremated on arrival.

3 June

Serb forces bury the bodies of 190 Kosovars in a cemetery in Istok. Another 190 bodies of Kosovar Albanians are buried in and near the cemetery of Padaliste. About 130 corpses are in the cemetery, while another 60 are in a mass grave nearby. The bodies were brought from Staradran (near Istok) where they had been executed.

6 June

86 Kosovar men released from Smrekovnica prison (near Kosowska Milsovica) entered Northern Albania. The men report being beaten and tortured while in captivity.

8 June

Refugees arriving in Albania allege that Serbian police have come up with a new mix of brutality and bureaucracy to torment the Kosovar men they are expelling from Kosovo. Police at the Mitrovica prison in central Kosovo (probably Smrekovnica prison near Kosovska Mitrovica) are alleged to have had Serb boys as young as 12-years-old to beat and humiliate the Kosovars for a number of days before expelling them from Kosovo. The police draw up terrorism charges against them, to keep them from ever returning home.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in