Associated Press is more blunt in presenting the event as simple
What!? Were they not right there to see those burned skulls,
the bones and the furnace themselves?
The text of the report is presented here in its entirety.
BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) -- Serbian police said Saturday they had
discovered a crematory in southern Kosovo where ethnic Albanians
allegedly had burned the bodies of at least 22 Serb civilians.
The police statement said the furnace, allegedly used to destroy
the bodies of civilians killed by the rebels, was found in the
village of Klecka, recently retaken by government forces.
The statement, carried by the official Tanjug news agency, was the
latest in a series of claims of brutality and atrocities by both
sides. It could not be independently confirmed.
Meanwhile, the Red Cross evacuated 13 women and children, who were
wounded Thursday by fierce shelling, from a crowded refugee village
to the Kosovo capital of Pristina Saturday.
The victims were among an estimated 50,000 ethnic Albanians near
Senik village in southwestern Kosovo, where they fled after their
own communities were shelled by Yugoslav army tanks.
Fighting was reported Saturday in several locations. The Serb-run
Media Center in Pristina said seven "terrorists" were killed in
a shootout with police in Klina, western Kosovo.
Serbian police and the Yugoslav army have waged a months-long
offensive to crush the Kosovo Liberation Army, which is spearheading
the independence fight of Kosovo's Albanian majority. Kosovo is a
province of Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic.
On Friday, Serb forensic workers retrieved from the crematory the
bones of 10 Serb civilians, two of them children, who officials
said were executed by the KLA.
The workers found skulls and other charred human bones, including a
pelvis and part of a backbone with bits of singed clothing on it.
Associated Press Television captured footage of the human remains.
The alleged crematory was found based on
testimony from two captured
rebel fighters, Ljup and Bekim Mazreku, who told police that in July
alone, 22 Serbs as well as some Albanians loyal to Serbian authorities
were killed. It was not clear if the Albanians also were cremated.
A statement issued swiftly Saturday by the Yugoslav Foreign Ministry
urged foreign countries "to cut all sources of financing,
recruitment, training, arming" to the rebels in light of the
In Pristina, some of the evacuees from around Senik said the attack
Thursday targeted only civilians.
"The shelling began at seven in the morning," said one of the
victims, Xhemile Zulfaj, as she lay shivering on the floor of the
Red Cross truck, her 2-year-old boy beside her. "Thirteen of us
were in our house. A shell exploded, and we ran outside, screaming.
One of us died."
The woman said the region remained extremely dangerous.
"Snipers shoot at women and children all the time, and shelling
continues," she said. She, her son and the others on the truck
all were hit by shrapnel.
Maggie Bryson of the International Red Cross, who helped evacuate
the 13, said conditions around Senik were deplorable.
With the onset of cold weather, the estimated 50,000 refugees camped
out in the open in isolated areas were facing an "absolutely dreadful"
situation, she said.
"Without shelter, people cannot survive," she said.
In Belgrade, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Julia Taft on Friday
warned that with winter on the way, there is a strong risk of a
refugee disaster. She said she would ask President Clinton for
emergency aid to stem such a crisis.
Serbian police and Yugoslav army troops have purged KLA fighters from
much of the at least 30 percent of Kosovo territory the rebels once
After a string of defeats, the KLA is appealing to ethnic Albanians
to unite and join rebel ranks. "Like never before, it is high time
that we all become KLA soldiers," said a statement published Saturday
in an Albanian-language paper in Pristina.
U.S. diplomats have been trying to set up face-to-face talks between
the Albanians and the Serbian government to discuss the future of the
province. The Americans and Europeans want Yugoslav President Slobodan
Milosevic to restore the autonomy he withdrew in 1989.
Well, this was not only six sentences long. The facts
were diluted. The presence of foreign reporters was not
mentioned. That allowed the author to bluntly lie that the event
"could not be independently confirmed."
After diluted facts presented as allegations and Serbian claims
the report continues with "Yugoslav army tanks" shelling
"Albanian communities". Just like that.
The rest of the article is some kind of counter-
offensive to the presentation of KLA atrocities. Most
of the article is an open podium for poor Albanian civilians to
spread their unsubstantiated stories and propaganda. Western
anti-Serbs dressed as "humanitarians" and "diplomats"
pitched in with their slogans.
Of course their deep worry for the Albanian civilians and of the
impending disaster of the approaching winter was completely false.
There was no disaster next winter (other than NATO carpet bombing
of Kosovo in the coming spring of 1999).
The article is also a place where even KLA terrorists could put
their pitch and invitation for more thugs to join. When talking
about them AP puts the word "terrorists" in quotation marks!
This is how Serbs call this "Liberation Army, which is spearheading
the independence fight" you know.
By the way, Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic did not withdrew
autonomy himself. The status of province was decided in a most
democratic way possible. In a referendum!
The referendum was result of long, persistent pressure of Kosovo Serbs
who demanded that their treatment as second rate citizens in Kosovo
(at hands of Albanian separatists) should stop. It is the West that
jumped in, uninvited, to save Albanian apartheid against the Serbs