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For fair use only:

Kosovo Albanian rebel says killed Serb civilians

  Saturday, August 29, 1998

NOTE: Some Western reporters did report on the event they witnessed. They did their best to dilute though what they saw with their own eyes.

Notice the phrases used:

  • Yugoslav authorities... accused KLA...
  • [Serb] police said...
  • [This and that Serb] said ...

The intended impression - These are just Serbian allegations...

The text of the report is presented here in its entirety.

For fair use only
Published under the provision of
U.S. Code, Title 17, section 107.


By Julijana Mojsilovic

KLECKA, Serbia, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Yugoslav authorities on Saturday accused Kosovo Albanian guerrillas of killing 22 Serbs and burning their bodies in a makeshift crematorium in Klecka village, which Serb forces recaptured this week.

A captured member of the separatist Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) told reporters in Klecka that he took part in a firing squad in the village that killed 10 of the victims, including two children and three women, in a mass execution.

Police said others who died included Serbs kidnapped from buses and cars on the nearby Pristina-Pec highway.

The man, Bekim Mazreku, was not allowed to speak independently to the reporters, who were escorted to the site from Pristina by Serbian authorities.

The Yugoslav Foreign Ministry said the killings were the "gravest and cruellest crime" committed by the KLA, which has been fighting Serbian forces for Kosovo's independence for the last six months.

The ministry called on Western governments to condemn the incident and to crack down on the supply of money and weapons to the KLA from ethnic Albanian separatists abroad.

Both sides in the conflict - which has killed more than 500 people and driven more than 250,000 from their homes - have accused each other of committing atrocities against civilians.

Serb police and Pristina county court investigating magistrate Danica Marinkovic brought Mazreku to the village and questioned him in front of reporters for a second day.

"I think they were Serbs," Mazreku, in his early twenties told the magistrate. He spoke in Albanian and a Serb policeman interpreted for him.

Standing uncuffed, but watched closely by Serb policemen, Mazreku said the executed children were between eight and 11 years old and the three women between 28 and 32.

Mazreku, from the Malisevo region west of Klecka, was captured in that area three weeks ago along with another KLA guerrilla who allegedly participated in the executions.

"My impression is that Bekim just found himself in the situation where he did what he said he had done," said Marinkovic.

"He has a bad conscience about it and that is why he confessed and that would be extenuating circumstances during his trial," Marinkovic told reporters.

Klecka came under Serb police control late on Thursday after three days of fighting. The village is deserted and almost completely destroyed.

On its outskirts, police spokesman Colonel Bozidar Filic showed reporters a building which served as KLA barracks. Two rooms contained different types of weapons and food left behind by the rebels.

"We did not find any dead Albanians. They probably left before we came and took the killed and wounded with them," Filic said.

One of the policemen who escorted the convoy said three police were slightly wounded during the operation.

Filic guided reporters to a brick-made furnace which he said was used as crematorium where the KLA allegedly burned the executed Serbs.

Reporters were shown a lime kiln which Filic said was used to make quick lime for burning bodies. Just behind the furnace, police put burnt bones on a white sheet.

Marinkovic said four burnt bodies found in the village were believed to be those of victims of the shootings. There was no trace of other bodies.

Shoes and clothes were scattered next to a makeshift prison cell, where the Serbs were held, according to Mazreku's testimony. Police laid flowers and lit candles.

By taking control of the KLA base, Serbian security forces completed the recapture of villages straddling the Pec-Prizren road from the KLA, whose forces had held them for three months.

On Thursday, Filic told reporters in Dulje, 10 km (six miles) south of Klecka that many Serb civilians had been kidnapped in the area, mostly taken off the buses or grabbed from cars.

Filic said on Saturday that about 20 of the kidnapped people were killed in Klecka.

The KLA is battling for the independence of Kosovo, where ethnic Albanians make up about 90 percent of the province's 1.8 million people.

Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

Couple of comments here:

As before the Reuters' article had to have "90 percent" mantra repeated. This was compounded by a statement that "the KLA... has been fighting... for Kosovo's independence." Not quite true. As we have seen after Western conquest of Kosovo, KLA was actually fighting to cleanse Kosovo of all non-Albanians. That they did while their Western friends watched them finish the atrocity.

Notice also the use of the word "allegedly". According to this article "the KLA allegedly burned the executed Serbs."

Now, the foreign reporters were shown the remnants of charred human bodies. Who burned these people? The Serbs? Than who?

By the way, compare this report to the ones where the Serbs were to be accused of atrocities (for example in Srebrenica or in Sarajevo stagged events). There there was no use of Serbs "allegedly" doing the crime. No. That word would not fit Western media war against the Serbian people. Instead, the Serbs would be accused right in the very title of their propaganda articles. Notice how word "says" was used here, in the title.


 [ BBC uses six (6) sentences to describe Klecka ]


 [ The story of Klecka crematorium ]

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Last revised: October 10, 2003