Massacre in Drenica
Special Edition


KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (funeral, updated coverage)

Drenica buries 24 victims of the massacre

100 thousand people attend, many more are prevented by the police

Likoshan & Ēirez, 3 March (ARTA) 2030 CET

Around 100 thousand people participated in the burial of 24 Albanians killed during the last weekend in Drenicė. The burial was postponed till late afternoon, as the corpses of other 14 killed, ten of whom were members of the Ahmeti family, were expected to be brought from Prishtina's morgue. They were delivered from there without prior autopsy.

The reason for the delay was that other members of the Ahmeti family were detained by the police on their way to the morgue.

According to the local activists, a truck, which was headed to collect the bodies, was stopped at Komoran police check-point.

Today, the police didn't allow any vehicles to pass through the main road towards Drenicė. Many people were mistreated at this checkpoint. According to eyewitnesses, the corpses were totally massacred, and some of them were missing even some parts of their bodies.

Three of the corpses had not been identified to that point yet, therefore the activists had called all relatives of those who were suspected dead, to approach the corpses and identify them.


KOSOVA: Mass protests (Veton Surroi, "KOHA Ditore", interview)

Surroi: "Drenica massacre was one of the worst atrocities that Kosova has seen for decades"

In the interview with the BBC, "Koha Ditore" Albanian daily editor-in-chief, Veton Surroi slams on "FRY" president Milosevic as a person "who is endangering the regional security"

Prishtina, 3 March (ARTA) 2230 CET

"Hundreds of thousands of people wanted to get there, at the funeral. According to our journalists reports, there were at least 100.000 people. Tens of thousands were prevented from the police to get there, including the journalists -- some foreign journalists never made it there", said the editor-in-chief of "KOHA Ditore", Albanian Daily from Prishtina, being asked on the present situation in Prishtina today, after the police massacre in Drenica region, and the yesterday’s mass protests of Kosova Albanians in Prishtina.

"It was a mourning day in Kosova", said Surroi describing the funeral event that took place in the raided Drenica villages.

As for the police attack that caused the massacre, Surroi replied that "out of the 25 people who were killed, I can assure you that all of them -- absolutely all -- were victims of the massacre by the Serbian authorities. This is one of the worst atrocities that Kosova has seen in this decade."

What should be the message from UK Foreign Minister, Robin Cook to Milosevic, at their scheduled meeting for tomorrow in Belgrade? -- was another question, for which Surroi thinks "the message that mr. Cook should have towards Belgrade is not that the EU will not be linking itself with what is called ‘Yugoslavia’ in economic relations, meaning that Belgrade cannot count on good economic relations with EU." Surroi argues that "there should be more offensive approach in telling mr. Milosevic that he is endangering the regional security, and that (Kosova) is becoming a very highlighted matter of interest to Western powers, including, of course, the EU", stating further that Milosevic should count "not only on the financial consequences, but also on political consequences and those concerning questions of security, as well -- meaning the NATO interests in the region.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (updated coverage)

Recalling the horror

One of the baskets in the garden, filled with corn, lied overturned. A man, claiming to be related with the Sejdiu family, and who had been in hiding close by, says: "It was hit by an APC". "In that basket was one of the sons of the Sejdiu family, who died then".

Likoshan, Qirez, Drenicė, 2 March (ARTA)

After the police attack on Drenica region, the situation in villages nearby seems to be more quiet today.

There are no police forces to be seen around the region. Roads leading to Gllogoc (settlement 40km east from Prishtinė) are still empty. But, the road linking this part of Drenica with villages of Likoshan and Qirez was full of local people, heading to express their condolences to the families which lost the loved ones.

Total confusion and sorrow continue in the house of Islam Gjeli.

"My children and I hid in the washroom, to avoid the bullets", says the widow of the killed Naser Islam Gjeli (M).

"Naser's father was killed too", said the villagers, gathered in this place. "The old man (72), was in the room located in front of the garden. That's where he was killed", says the widow. "After half an hour, I couldn't stand it anymore, so I got out of the washroom, where I was hiding my children. That's when I saw my husband who was dead by that children saw him too. Then the police took me and my children and sent us to our neighbors house. I don't know what happened with bodies of my husband and his father", she explains, deeply distressed, and eventually loosing her conscience.

Further up the hill were other houses, in which the Serb police had also broken in.

The house of Ahmeti family appeared deserted. There was no information whatsoever on the whereabouts of the 10 men of this family, and their guest.

Blood stains, broken bones and other body parts could be made out in the crossroads, close to the house.

A long column of people was heading towards the village of Qirez, nearly connected to the village of Likoshan. There were rumors that 8 corpses of those killed were in that village.

The Sejdiu family house yard was overcrowded with all of them waiting to get into one of the house's rooms where the bodies of the four killed brothers lied.

One of the baskets in the garden, filled with corn, lied overturned. A man, claiming to be related with the Sejdiu family, and who had been in hiding close by, says: "It was hit by an APC". "In that basket was one of the sons of the Sejdiu family, who died then".

"The other one hid behind the other basket of corn and died after being shot at", he continues.

"The other two Sejdiu sons were killed in the valley, behind the house that is being built, where they tried to hide among the bushes", says his cousin.

"A helicopter circled above the house and people shot from up there during the whole time", say the locals gathered close to the victims' house.

An appalling sight was also in Sefer Nebihu's household, whose son, Naser and his wife, Rukije were killed. He himself suffers severe wounds.

"They entered the garden in an APC and forced their way up to the window", recalls wounded Sefer. "The entire family was gathered: my wife, my son, his wife and our grandchildren", he continues.

"The policemen in the APCs kept shooting, as other policemen broke into the house,ordering us to get out and lie on the ground", he says.

"We freezed on the ground for about four hours, until they were gone. My other son, Ilir, was in his own house when the police took him and we still do not know what happened to him", concludes Sefer.

Sefer was being taken care of by doctors who came to the village in search for the wounded people.

"We have to take him to a hospital", one of them claimed.

Hata, Sefer's wife gave us the same information, only one could make out that she was very distressed.

"They came close to the house with a tank -- or whatever it is -- shooting at us. They killed my son and his wife, and they wounded my husband...", she recalled, turning her head the other way to hide her tears.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (updated coverage, funeral)

Police executed the entire Ahmeti family men -- from 16 to 50 years old

Ten members of the Ahmeti family and two guests who were found in the house at the moment of the attack were dragged barehanded out of the house, being violently massacred and killed on the 28 March, during the Serb police attack on the village of Likoshan, that took place past weekend: Ahmet Ahmeti (50 M), Gani Ahmeti (46 M), Hilmi Ahmeti (44 M), Hamėz Ahmeti (44 M), Driton Ahmeti (23 M), Naim Ahmeti (22 M), Shemsi Ahmeti (19 M), Lumni Ahmeti (20 M), Basri Ahmeti (19 M), Elhami Ahmeti (16 M), and Behram Fazliu (50 M) Shaban Muja, both of them guests from the nearby village of Gradica

Likoshan 2 March (ARTA) 1328 CET

Corpses of 9 members of the Ahmeti family, arrested and executed during the withdrawal of the Serb police forces from the region of Likoshan, are now in Prishtina's city morgue, unofficial sources claim.

The oldest member of this family is 16 while the oldest 50 years old. Ten members of the Ahmeti family and a guest from Gradica were arrested, according to the information issued on 1 March by CDHRF.

Serbs police massacred the Albanians of Drenica region, in the thorny bushes nearby Ahmeti's house (five meters from the demolished garden gate).

Five or six big blood stains, broken teeth, brains all over the place, a piece of human jaw hanging down from the bushes, bullets of different calibers, are seen at the "scene of the crime",as villagers calls it. The bush is large over 3 m. square.

The police slaughtered them to death using shotguns and other hard and sharp objects, confirms the witnesses.

The corpses of the father, Muhamet Isuf Gjeli (79) and the brother Naser Muhamet Gjeli (39) brought in from the morgue of Prishtina by their relative, Kadri Gjeli, were lying down in the first floor of his house. Kadri’s house close to that of the victims was also attacked by the Serb police.

They were killed in separate rooms, inside of the house. The police got in the house of Muhamet Isuf Gjeli and shot dead Muhamed and Naser, say the villagers.

Signs of the tank chains could be traced in the entrance of Likoshan, coming in front the direction of Gllogoc.

From what it could be seen, the police withdrew entirely from the villages that were a target of the uncontrolled police attack.

Today, at 1200 CET, from the police station of Gllogoc, Fehmi Hasan (Gjeli), and Fatmir Islami (Gjeli), who were kidnaped on Sunday morning (around 1100 CET), were released. Both have severe body injuries.

The exact number of the Drenica massacre victims is still unknown. There are unconfirmed information that at the city morgue in Prishtina lies another corpse that came in from the village of Boks.

There are fears that the total toll of victims will exceed 20.

"Mr.Gelbard is guilty of this, also!"

Likoshan, 2 March (ARTA)

In the villages of Drenica, people were more than depressed. Their faces were tired from the miseries they are facing everyday.

What is going to happen next...? Who is going to save this nation...? are asking people of Drenica...

"Mr. Gelbard has to realize that this is his fault, as well. When he stated that there is terrorism in Kosova, he allowed the opportunity for Serbia to intervene against those he marked as terrorists. What they did was only massacring of innocent people."

"Let Mr. Gelbard for once know: we are not terrorists, after all. We have no weapons, we killed nobody and we don't wish to do that. All we want is to be able to live freely in our own land, own houses, and in our own property...", said an old man.

KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (updated coverage)

"They wanted to kill the entire village"

In the village of Likoshan, the household of the Islamgjeli was overcrowded. "I took my children and hid in the bathroom, trying to escape the bullets", says the wife of the killed Naser Islamgjeli -- "I came out after some time, and I saw my husband laying down, dead"

Likoshan and Ēikatovė, Drenicė, 2 March (ARTA) - 2050 CET

Today, the situation in the villages of Drenica region (40 km west of Prishtina) seems calmer, after the crackdown that took place on the late Friday eve and which lasted unitil early Sunday afternoon.

16 Albanian civilians are confirmed killed during the massacre, although the very next day after the raid no policemen were to be seen in an around villages.

The streets of Gllogoc were empty, but the endless line of people was heading for Likoshan and Ēikatovė -- to express condolences to the families of the killed Albanians.

In Likoshan, the household of the Islamgjeli was overcrowded. "I took my children and hid in the bathroom, trying to escape the bullets", says the wife of the killed Naser Islamgjeli.

"I came out after some time, and I saw my husband laying down, dead".

"It was then when the police came and took me and my children to our neighbors'. I don't know what happened with my husband's and my father in law's bodies. The latter was also killed, in the other part of the yard", she explains, deeply distressed.

The long chain of people was heading to Qirez.

Here too, there were killed people laying. In the household of the Sejdiu, in one of the rooms were laying the corpses of four killed Sejdiu brothers.

One of the corn baskets was torn down, "it was hit by an armored vehicle", states a youngster, who hid in the stable while the attack took place. "One of the Sejdiu boys was hiding in the basket, and he was killed". Another of the sons was hiding behind another corn basket, while two others were killed as they were running towards some bushes".

Another terrifying scene was that at the Nebiu household. Son Naser and his wife Rukie were killed while father Sefer was wounded.

"They first broke into the garden on the armored vehicle, and came as close as the window frames", says wounded Sefer.

"The whole family was in the room, my wife and I, my son and his wife as well as my grandchildren", he continues.

"They shot once from the APC, and then came the other policemen, who were standing by the window - he tells - and forced us to go out. They told us to lay on our stomachs and not move".

"Thus we laid over four hours, until the police left. Our other son, Ilir, who was in his house, at the other side of the yard, was taken by the police and we don't know what has happened to him", concludes old Sefer. "They wanted to kill the entire village"..


KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (the aftermath, the victims)

28 hours of massacre

Likoshan, Drenicė, 28 Feb -1 March (ARTA)

Since there was no other way to reach Drenicė, we decided to travel by train. In the train traveling in the relation Fushė Kosovė-Gllogovc, where we met some old men from Drenicė, exchanging words about the latest events in their villages. One of the men was from the village of Gllanasellė, an hour away from Likoshan, where the "war" supposedly had begun. We traveled with that man until he arrived to Gllanasella, where he got off, and continued our journey to Likoshan, this time accompanied by youngsters. When we got close to Likoshan we could see columns of people going in the direction of the houses of the destroyed. Only a few minutes past our arrival, a large number of people gathered and started walking on the street, maybe because they felt unsure. Everyone of them gazed at us with doubt as we showed them our journalist ID cards. Immediately after entering the village, it became clear that most of the people had abandoned their houses and that a large number of them were frightened to return to their houses, destroyed by police grenade launchers. A number of them still stayed at the outskirts, where they had gone to hide from the police expedition. "How did the conflict begin?", we asked the local villagers.

The "conflict" by the Six Oaks..

On 28 February, claim the villagers, a "Passat" was parked close to the school, side by side with another vehicle full of policemen. That is where the chase of supposed members of KLA began, only to end up in the village of Likoshan, in a place the locals call "Six Oaks". That is where, the locals assert, the fighting began between the police and a group of young people the locals referred to as "ours".

That is the scene where heavy shooting took place, and a couple of policemen were killed, according to the villagers.

Since a short time after the group of young people went into the forest, the police started shooting in the direction of the houses nearby. In a very short time, helicopters along with 39 APCs arrived in the village of Likoshan. Heavy shooting, mostly from helicopters, began against the houses of defenseless civilians. Only in the villages of Likoshan and Qirez, 11 people were shot dead, claim the villagers.

During this attack, Muhamet I. Xheli (age unknown, M) and Naser M. Xheli (age unknown, M), father and son were shot dead, and their corpses were taken by the police. The blood stains on the floor confirm that their bodies were dragged by the police. From Adem Ahmeti's (age unknown, M) household, all male members of the family above age 15 were taken. It's presumed that there were over ten persons. This village was object of heavy shooting, and the villagers were also mistreated by the police.

Someone had resisted during the whole time.

The villagers assert that two men, about which we still have no information, were tied to poles and were beaten to death. Their whereabouts are still unknown. Unidentified persons had resisted the police during the whole time, claim the local inhabitants. The real massacre, say the villagers, was in the village of Qirez, where houses were attacked from APCs. Beqir Sjediu (31, M), Nazmi Sejdiu (1975, M), Bedri Sejdiu (1975, M), Bekim Sejdiu (1974, M), all brothers, were killed in their own houses. Xhemshir S. Nebihu and his wife Rukije Nebihu, and Rexhep Rexhepi (M), and Beqir Rexhepi (M), uncle and nephew, were also killed in the same village.

Innocent passers-by in these villages were detained by the police. The villagers notify that the police detained Tahir Tahiri (M), in Qirez, Rexhep Ajeti (a guest) was taken while standing in Ahmet Ahmeti's garden, whereas Idriz Tahiri was taken while selling cigarettes in Qirez.

Not one house was spared from bullets of different calibers.

A harsh "war" took place in the village of Likoshan, more precisely in the place called "Six Oaks", in Krasmirovc, Polac and other villages where many were killed, claim the inhabitants. The population of these villages, was alarmed the whole time, whereas a big number of them escaped in the mountains surrounding the village, from where they observed the action.

The most horrible event took place in the house of Skėnder (Muharrem) Xheli (age unknown, M)

His house was used by the police as a place to rest, says Skėnder. "While the police was singing, eating and drinking, I along with Fatmir (M) and Fehmi (M) Xheli hid in the attic of the house. This went on for 24 hours", ends Skėnder Xheli from the village Qirez.


KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (operation ends)

Police operation ends -- death toll rises to 20

Albanian civilians killed in recent police attack

Prishtina 1 March (ARTA) -- 2000 CET

Numerous police and military APCs, numbering several hundreds of policemen and reportedly VJ soldiers withdrew from the region of Drenica (40 km west of Prishtina) around 1700 CET, as local human rights groups and media report on over 14 Albanian civilian victims -- the death toll of the two-day operation.

It is claimed that the joint operation of Serb security forces and military units -- which started on the eve of the last weekend (Friday 27 Feb.), continuing until late hours of Sunday, 1 March -- overrun several villages of Likoshan, Ēikatovė e Re, Ēikatovė e Vjetėr, Qirez, and many other settlements in the surrounding of Gllogoc and Skenderaj, main towns of this 95 per cent Albanian-inhabited region.

14 Albanians are  killed, the CDHRF reports. The Serbian Ministry of the Interior , has reported that 4 policemen and 16 Albanians ("terrorists") were killed. The number of killed may be larger.

The number of wounded remains unknown, as witnesses claim of dozens of Albanian villagers, who were brought in local Prishtina clinics, in critical condition from firearm wounds.

According to information from the field, the situation in the attacked region is calming down as the Serb police withdrawal continues.


KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (death toll rises)

Four brothers killed instantly

Prishtinė, 1 March (ARTA) - 2030 CET

According to the Human Rights Council (CDHRF) updated information, during the Serb police attack on Drenica (40 km west of Prishtina), names of 3 following Albanians, killed in the village of Likoshan, are reported:

1. Muhamet Xhela (70) (M)
2. Naser (Muhamet) Xhela (37) (M)
3. Rexhep Ajeti (60) (M)


Also, in the village of Qirez, the following Albanian civilians were killed:

1. Beqir Sejdiu (M) (age unknown)
2. Bekim Sejdiu (M) -/-
3. Bedri Sejdiu (M) -/-
4. Nazmi Sejdiu (M) -/-, and
5. Xhemshir Nebihu (M) -/-
6. Rukije Nebihu (M) -/-

Albanian Sefer Sejdiu was reported severely wounded, whereas there is no information on Xhemshir Nebihu's brother, Nebi.

The police gunfire caused the wounding of Hajdin Makolli (58), Albanian from the village Ēikatova e Vjetėr.

The following Albanians were arrested in Likoshan: Ahmet Ahmeti (50, male), Gani Ahmeti (46, male), Elmi Ahmeti (44, male), Hamėz Ahmeti (44, male), Driton Ahmeti (23, male), Naim Ahmeti (22, male), Lumni Ahmeti (20, male), Shemsi Ahmeti (19, male), Basri Ahmeti (19, male), Elhami Ahmeti (16, male), and Behram Fazliu (50, male), from the village of Gradica.

The overall death toll remains unknown, as local sources report of around 20 killed Albanians.

It is also reported that the massive police forces started withdrawing from the region in the late afternoon hours.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (protest)

Mass protest in Prishtina scheduled for 1000 CET

The protest will be concentrated around the city center

Prishtinė, 1 March (ARTA) - 2030 CET

Massive protests of Kosova Albanian citizens in Prishtina are announced for Monday morning (2 March), from the Coordinating Council of Kosova Albanian political parties in Prishtina -- due to the recent police attack on the region of Drenica (40 km west of Prishtina), in aftermath of which, around 20 Albanian civilians are reported killed.

The protest, according to the organizers, "is an expression of the indignation" of the Kosova Albanian citizens, after the bloody toll of the "Serb military intervention".

The scheduled protest will last one hour.

The organizing council of the protests -- including the Independent Students' Union, the Independent Trade Unions, the Parlamentary Party of Kosova and several political parties and associations -- states that the protest will be held all over the capital -- however, it will concentrate on the streets "that gravitate around the city center"

Also, the statement was issued for one-day dismissal of classes at elementary schools, as high school students were pleaded participation at the protests.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (Rugova reaction)

Kosova Albanian leader vows support for the tomorrow's protests

Prishtinė, 1 March (ARTA) 2030 CET

Isa Kastrati, chairman of the Coordinating Council of political parties for Prishtina, cited the support by the Kosova Albanian leader, the chairman of the Democratic League of Kosova, Ibrahim Rugova.

"Faced with the situation in which the determination of the participants to organize the mass protests appears irrevocable, he (Rugova) agreed to support the event", stated Kastrati to "Koha Ditore" daily.

Mass protests, scheduled for tomorrow 1000 CET are organized from the main political and non-political Kosova Albanian-run associations -- due to the recent bloody events that took place in Drenica region (40 km west of Prishtina), where around 20 Albanian civilians are reported killed during the mass police raid which started early this weekend.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (Kosova Government reaction)

Emergency headquarters to be established urgently

"In these circumstances, the Government calls all political parties to unite and take control over the situation in Kosova, by establishing an emergency headquarters, with a broad basis..."

Bonn, 1 March (ARTA)

The Government of the Republic of Kosova, in a communique issued following the police attack on Drenicė, stresses that the attack "against the innocent and defenseless civilian population of Kosova proves that the criminal and terrorist Serbian regime is allowed to try and repeat what it did in Bosnia and Herzegovina".

The Serbian regime, according to the statement issued by the Government of the Republic of Kosova, has not learned anything from previous Yugoslav conflicts, "that Serb lies and inventions, to justify each of their, supposedly, anti-terrorist motivated actions, seem to be acceptable".

The Government of the Republic of Kosova expresses it's indignation and condemns "these barbarious attacks without exceptions, against the defenseless innocent Albanian people of Kosova".

"In these circumstances, the Government calls all political parties to unite and take control over the situation in Kosova, by establishing an emergency headquarters, with a broad basis, with clear duties and responsibilities, including urgent contacts with all embassies in Belgrade, with all accredited media in Belgrade and Prishtina and dispatching people to the field immediately to evaluate the situation and giving the adequate assistance.

The Government of the Republic of Kosova, "calls the people affected by Serbian criminals, to defend themselves with all the means at their disposal, and it also calls the people of Kosova to show, in all possible ways, their solidarity and support towards the attacked population, the families of all killed and wounded to whom the government expresses it's deepest condolences".

The government is determined to immediately fulfil all it's obligations "within the possibilities and it's mandate to offer all the possible assistance to the affected population".

"The last military aggression, confirms once again, that the politics of genocide applied by Belgrade against the Albanian people of Kosova, and which has been tolerated for so long, is escalating from an un-started war, into an open conflict", states the communique.

The Government of the Republic of Kosova urges the international community, especially the USA, the EU and the Contact Group, to condemn this open and tragic aggression against Kosova Albanians, and to exert pressure over Serbia to stop it's militarist and genocidal politics against Albanians in Kosova...

In the end, the Government of Kosova also calls on the free and independent media of the West "to fully comply with it's obligations and urgently and precisely inform about the daily events in Kosova", states the communique issued by the Government of Kosova.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Kosova (local celebrities reaction)

Drenica dignitaries visits the USIS office in Prishtina

Skėnderaj, 1 March (ARTA) - 1920 CET

A delegation of Albanian intellectuals and dignitaries from the Drenica region, including Imer Halimi, Hajdar Rreci, Islam Krasniqi and Shaqir Berani, visited the USIS office in Prishtina today, in the aftermath of the massive police attack on this region, 40 km west of Kosova capital.

The delegation was received by the USIS officials, who were briefed on the actual situation in Drenicė, with a special emphasis on the events registered in the two past days.

After the visit, American officials stated that they will inform the American Government on the bloody events.



KOSOVA -- Police attack on Drenica - hospitals

Wounded brought to hospital -- by helicopters

Supposedly, only the wounded policemen were among those who were brought for intensive health care, at the Prishtina hospital which is still under complete police blockade

Prishtinė, 1 March (ARTA)

All the entrances to Prishtina's main hospital were blocked by the Serbian police, because of, as reported, continuous influx of wounded from the Drenica region, object of continuous Serbian police attacks in the past two days.

The information on the number of the wounded is not available, but from the patients in the hospital, most of them Albanians, it is understood that the patients were transported to the hospital in police helicopters.

Witnesses and doctors in the Prishtina hospital inform about two Serb policemen who were severely wounded, and in critical condition, are currently being treated in the hospital.

It was also said that the majority of the patients brought to the hospital were Serb policemen, who have run into resistance of the local population, but also, as it is stated, of the KLA forces, in Drenicė.

A patient claims that on Saturday evening, four corpses were brought to the hospital morgue - it is supposed that these were killed policemen.

The Serb police attack on Drenica region, (45 km northwest of Prishtina), started late Friday evening (27 February), reaching its peak on March 1st.

It is supposed that the mounting number of victims has already reached 20 killed Albanian civilians.


KOSOVA--Police attack on Drenica (Rugova statement)

Albanian leader vows to US and EU for mounting pressure over Belgrade

Prishtinė, 1 March (ARTA)

Ibrahim Rugova, Kosova Albanian political leader (chairman to the LDK - main Kosova Albanian political party), condemned the "attack of the Serb forces in the district of Gllogovc and Skenderaj", reffering to the two-days joint police and military action over the region of Drenica (45 km northwest of Prishtina), which is, according to "Koha Ditore" sources, still continues in and around villages of Cikatova e Vjeter and Likoshan.

In his statement, Rugova demands "immediate end of actions against the Albanian population", vowing to the United States government, as well as the member states of European Union "to exercise pressure on Belgrade, for the immediate end of this action".

"The action of violence towards the Albanians of Drenica is forced with the aim of spreading fear and panic among the Kosova Albanian population, which remains determined in its efforts for seeking peaceful solution to the Kosova problem", stated Rugova.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (toll)

Another wounded Albanian as police troops withdrew

Albanian Hajdin Makolli (58) from the village Cikatove e Vjeter was wounded in front of his house as the police forces were withdrawing

Gllogoc, 1 March (ARTA) - Hajdin Makolli (58), Albanian, was wounded as the police troops were withdrawing from Ēikatovė e Vjetėr village (10 km from Gllogoc), around 16.30 CET, claim sources of "Koha Ditore" daily.

The number of police vehicles that withdrew from this region, reached around 60.

Earlier, killing of an Albanian woman was reported in the village of Likoshan, Gllogoc municipality.

Woman was pregnant at the moment of death.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica -- (Protest scheduled for 18:00 CET)

Albanian Women's League organizes a protest in front of USIS

Prishtina 1 March (ARTA)

The Kosova Albanian Women's League, local women association called for a protest to be held in front of the United States Information Center building, in Prishtina, at 18:00 CET.

Flora Brovina, chairman to KAWL, stated that the protest is being held `to express the growing indignity of the Albanian population against the police attack on Drenica".

It is presumed that around 20 Albanian civilians are killed in the Serb police attack on this area (45 km northwest of Prishtina) which started on the eve of 27th February.



KOSOVA: Police attack on Drenica (analysis)

Kosova has 13.000 Serb police forces -- 25.000 reinforcement units can be transferred from central Serbia within 72 hours

Prishtina, 1 March (ARTA)

In Kosova, Serbian Interior Ministry has around 13,000 policemen armed with paramilitary equipment, including APCs and armed helicopters. Around 25,000 police reinforcements and reserve units could be transferred from central Serbia within 72 hours.

Yugoslav Army has around 6,500 men in Kosova, mainly around the border and in four major garrisons.

Plans for deployment foresee 10,000 troops from Nis, Leskovac and Uzice, as the first wave which is to include 4,000 men from the reserve units, theoretically, ready for action in Kosova.

But in practice, the army has expressed it's reluctance to undertake such actions since Kosova is considered to be an internal and political issue, meaning that it is in the competence of the police.

The third and most unpredictable element of the Serbian forces are the volunteers and the paramilitary. Even though most of the police units that operated in Croatia and Bosnia have been dispersed, at least two of those are ready for Kosova if their "bosses" decide for action. The best organized police, that has already withdrawn, but according to reports is "ready" for action in Kosova, is the Serbian Volunteer Guard (SDG), better known as "Tigrovi" ("Tigers"), under the command of Zeljko (Arkan) Raznjatovic. "The Tigers", consisting of about 400 hostile fighters with considerable experience and proved to have committed ethnic cleansing, can be called in for operations which neither the police nor the Army want to be connected to. The only other organization that could organize a police would be Vojislav Seselj's extreme rightist party, Radical Party of Serbia (SRS).

There is no doubt that the Ministry of Interior has enough manpower and equipment to encompass all of Kosova, but it's decision not to undertake action, reflects the lack of clear politics and indirectly implies that the Interior Ministry's units are not prepared, or trained to confront the opposing terrorists or guerrillas, let alone some mass uprising such as an Intifada.

There are many clear signs that Serb politicians are pressuring the interior ministry for actions, but, the two operations they undertook in the region of Drenica by the end of January, prove that the method to resist KLA has not yet been found. In both cases, Serbian police convoys with APCs and around 100 armed policemen have surrounded houses in the village outskirts and opened fire for several hours, killing at least one person and wounding several others. After such confrontations, the Interior Ministry has raided several private houses, arresting men over the age of sixteen, confiscating arms, but not being able to obstruct KLA activities. It seems that the Ministry has realized the futility of such an approach and has given it up.

On the other hand, the decreasing number of Serbian police in Kosova, has encouraged the local inhabitants of the region of Drenica to overestimate their power and significance. Drenica is a region of around 1200 square kilometers, with a population of about 60,000, 95 percent of whom are Albanians. The region is mountainous with some forests and can be reached by six roads. It is totally unsuitable for a serious guerilla headquarters: the main road that connects Kosova with the plain of Dukagjin and Montenegro, divides the region in two and Serbia would not allow any impediment in traffic. Also, north of Drenica is Serbia, that makes strategic withdrawal impossible. This could be considered as KLA's operation to "demonstrate force" in order to boost the will of Kosova Albanians and force the Serbs to act. Courageous tactic, militarily shrewd, since whatever the Serbs do, they cannot win.



Kosova: Police attack over Drenica

Drenica under police/military siege -- Fightings reported around Ēiēavica mountain

Prishtina, 1 March (ARTA) -- 16.00 CET

The Prishtina Human Rights Council HRC confirms 5 names out of over 15 Albanians who were killed during the massive police attack over Drenica region (40 km northwest of Prishtina)

All reported victims came from the same village, Qirez (15 km from Gllogoc - main settlement in Drenica):


1. Rexhep Ajet Rexhepi (M)

2. Xhemshir Sejdiu (M)

3. Rukije Sejdiu (F)

4. Nazmi Nebihu (M)

5. Bekim Nebihu (M)


The fire broke out this morning (around 7.00 CET), HRC in Prishtina reports. Two buses carrying policemen were reported heading towards Skenderaj (settlement 20 km north of Gllogoc), as from Mitrovica (town 35 km north of Prishtina) other police forces in two APCs, followed by various vehicles were heading towards Skenderaj.

Around 8.00 CET, from Komoran (25 km west of Prishtina) -- where the main police roadblock in the area was stationed weeks ago -- numerous police forces, numbering over 30 APCs, including few military tanks were seen heading towards the villages of Likoshan and Poklek i Ri.

There are also confirmations by the local whitnesses stating presence of Serb paramilitary units of the war-crime wanted Serb criminal, Zeljko Raznatovic-Arkan.

In the sourrounding villages of Zabel i Poshtem and Korrotica, police started demolishing Albanian houses in search of "terrorists".

Meanwhile, reports from Klina (70 km west of Prishtina), state that numerous police forces were seen penetrating Drenica region from this area. It is said that police APCs, among others, were carrying special sniper police units.

The attack on Drenica -- which started on the eve of 27 Feb. -- was restarted on Saturday (20.30 CET) in Skenderaj and its sourrounding.

According to local whitnesses, first gunshots were heard from the former Ammunition Factory building "Trepca", followed by those heard in the yard of the local high school, presently occupied with Serb refugees from Croatia.



KOSOVA: Police attack over Drenica - reactions (16.50 CET)

Civilian Albanians mostly found killed in the villages of Likoshan and Qirez

Prishtina, 1 March (ARTA)

A delegation from The Democratic League of Kosova (main political party in Kosova) visited today the Drenica region, hit by joint police and military attack.

The closest settlement they could get in was the village of Polac (10 km from Gllogoc, main settlement of the region).

Abdyl Ramaj, LDK, confirmed that in the village of Qirez two members are reported killed. Nazmi and Bekim Sejdiu (M) were in the house when heavy machinegun fire started. Other Albanian victims from this village are Xhemshir Nebiu and his wife, as Sefer, father, is in critical condition, severely wounded. There is no information about his other son, Ilir, who is believed killed.

Rexhep Rexhepi, Albanian from Qirez was reported killed in the Likoshan, and there is no knowledge of the whereabouts of Ibush T. Rama.

An Albanian house was raided from a police helicopter in the village of Prellovc, around 12.00 CET today. Three persons, whose identity has not yet been confirmed, were wounded.

Ramaj states that most of the houses in this 98 percent Albanian area are completely destroyed. Bodies of people lie "all around, in the gardens, inside the houses, in the field.

Fatmir Sejdiu, LDK, stated that "police attacks have intensified past months, whereas the past two days they became exceptionally concentrated. Three villages in the area between cities of Gllogoc and Skenderaj are entirely isolated and under heavy fire".

There are information that the villages are evacuated, although there are no information on the death toll, which is presumed much higher.

The LDK delegation was stopped by the police at the sourrounding roadblocks, being held for an hour of interrogation.

Fehmi Agani, vice-chairman to LDK said, that Albanian population deals "with precisely prepared police actions actions, timed intentionally for the weekend, when all the relevant intenrational institutions affiliates and diplomatic services and representatives are away on weekend."



At least fifteen dead

Albanian Council for Defence of Human Rights and Freedom confirms 14 victims

Prishtinė, 1 March (ARTA)

Albanian Council for the Defence of Human Rights and Freedoms in Prishtina (CDHRF) notifies about the rising tensions in the villages of Drenica municipality. Other than the five Albanians killed yesterday in the village of Likoshan, Gllogovc municipality, they claim that seven Albanians were killed in the village of Ēirez, Skenderaj municipality. Also, two Albanians were killed in village of Ēikatovė e re, Gllogovc municipality. This makes the total of 14 Albanians dead even though they presume the number to be much higher. Albanian sources notify that there has been extreme intensification of police and Arkan's paramilitary forces in this region, and that the shootings today started at around 7 am.

Journalists of local daily, "Koha ditore", editor in chief, Veton Surroi, and editors Ylber Hysa and Baton Haxhiu, were prevented from going to the scene.



Intense fighting in Drenicė

Police and military reinforcements arrive - At least ten civilians dead until now, among them women and children, claim unconfirmed sources

Prishtinė, 1 March (ARTA)

After last night's fighting in Drenicė ceased for some time, late last night and early this morning, Serbian police and military reinforcement have arrived at the scene only for the fighting to recommence with more intensity. According to witnesses, around 30 military vehicles, among them APCs were the military-police reinforcements to be sent to the villages surrounding Likoshan, where the fighting took place. Members of such forces, had been singing and offending in order to provoke the people along the roads leading to Gllogovc, claim the sources.

Till now, at least ten civilians were killed, among them women and children. Witnesses assert that the wounded lack medical treatment. The people have been mostly shot at whilst being in their own houses, say sources in Gllogovc.

The village of Likoshan has been practically evacuated.

Arms of different calibers, helicopters, APCs equipped with machine guns and anti-aircraft missiles, were used say witnesses. It is not confirmed yet, but there have been words of artillery being used as well.

According to witnesses, Serb forces have surrounded Gllogovc with it's villages whereas police have been spotted in Zabeli i Ulėt and Komoran too.

There is much tension among the inhabitants while the fighting continues. Shots from heavy artillery and explosions have been heard in the morning hours as well in the relation Likoshan - Ēikatovė.