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Kosova Daily Report #1494, 98-07-18

Kosovo Information Center: Kosova Daily Report Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Kosova Information Center <http://www.kosova.com/>

Kosova Information Center
KOSOVA DAILY REPORT #1494
Prishtina, 18 July 1998

First Edition: 11:00 CET
Second Edition: 17:30 CET

CONTENTS

  • [01] Heavy Fighting Reported in the Streets of Rahovec Overnight and Today Morning
  • [02] Serb Army Shell Zym Village of Prizren Friday Night
  • [03] President Rugova Receives OSCE Mission
  • [04] President Rugova Receives Rumanian Diplomat
  • [05] Heavy Fighting in the Streets of Rahovec Last Night and Today
  • [06] Serb Forces Shell Territory Inside Albania, Kosovars Wounded
  • [07] Serbian Offensive in Border Area Villages Continues
  • [08] Serbian Forces Attacked the Village of Shkoz& Last Night
  • [09] Tensions Run High in Prizren
  • [10] Returned Refugees Flee Homes Again As Serbs Fire onto Their Homes
  • [11] Bodies of Three Unidentified Men Spotted in Malisheva and Skenderaj
  • [12] Serb Press Claims Security Officer Was Shot Dead in Mitrovica
  • [13] Stepped Up Mobilization of Serbs in Gjilan
  • [14] Serb Court in Prishtina Sentences German Citizen to 30 Days in Jail
  • [15] Serb Police Harasses Harvesters in Vushtrri Villages

  • [01] Heavy Fighting Reported in the Streets of Rahovec Overnight and Today Morning

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - An extremely tense situation has been reported today morning in Rahovec ('Orahovac'), about 60 km south- west of Kosova's capital Prishtina.

    Witnesses told the Kosova Information Center (KIC) what they saw was heavy street fighting in the town of Rahovec. There was intermittent firefighting in the town during the whole course of last evening and night.

    Sources said that the whole thing started yesterday (Friday) afternoon, at around 17:30, when Serb forces provoked a massive conflict in the town. The dead body of a still unidentified man was reported earlier laying on the ground in a suburb of Rahovec, at a place called "Te Rrasat". A Serb police patrol which was heading to the location opened fire in the air and in the direction of houses, provoking people in the streets. Only a while later gunfire shooting could be heard in several places of the town, which lasted until 23:00 hrs.

    At around 21:00 electricity was cut to the town.

    Some residents of Rahovec told the KIC today morning that gunfire was being heard in several parts of the town still today. The local population has retreated into basements and other safer places.

    A Rahovec resident described as 'real war' what was going on in the town today morning.

    So far there have been no reports available about the casualty- toll.

    The municipality of Rahovec, in south-west of Kosova, borders on the municipalities of Gjakova, Prizren, Suhareka and Malisheva.

    The municipality has a population of around 60.000, of whom 92 per cent Albanian. The town itself has around 20.000 residents, 80 per cent of them being Albanian.

    Firefighting was reported Friday in the neighboring municipality of Malisheva too. Still unconfirmed reports said there were several casualties on the Serb side during yesterday's fighting around Shkoza village.

    [02] Serb Army Shell Zym Village of Prizren Friday Night

    One 19-year-old Albanian killed PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - The Zym village of Opoja region, municipality of Prizren, came under heavy Serb fire for two hours on Friday evening.

    Sources in Prizren said the Serb ('Yugoslav') army forces garrisoned at a location called Dubrava began shelling Zym and surrounding villages at 22:00 hrs last evening. The shelling of the villages lasted until around midnight.

    LDK sources in Prizren said one 19-year-old Albanian, Hashim Halit Ejupi, was killed on the balcony of his house in Zym at 22:30 hrs.

    The LDK chapter in Prizren said damage in the residential areas in Zym was reported.

    The population of Zym fled their homes. The area has been sealed off.

    Serb army forces have been stationed in the village cemetery, and seem poised not to allow the burial of the killed Albanian.

    There is highly tense situation in the entire region of Opoja in southern Kosova.

    [03] President Rugova Receives OSCE Mission

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today (Saturday) in Prishtina a large delegation of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), consisting of representatives from several OSCE member countries, which is in Kosova on a fact finding mission.

    The OSCE mission is headed by Ambassador Hansj^Ôrg Eiff.

    The OSCE delegation is here to examine the situation, as well as the possibilities of restoration of the OSCE's mission to Kosova and the beginning of the mission of Felipe Gonzalez, the personal representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Bronislaw Geremek, Mr. Eiff said.

    President Rugova said international presence in Kosova is important, but stressed the OSCE mission's return to Kosova should not be linked to Belgrade's admittance into the OSCE.

    The situation in Kosova continues to be extremely volatile and dangerous amidst the continued Serb army and police aggression in many parts of Kosova, Rugova said, adding that as a result of the Serb operations hundreds of Albanian civilians have been killed, wounded or missing.

    Tens of thousands of Albanians have been forced to flee their homes, the President said, referring to the refugees in neighboring countries and the internally-displaced. "This marks the start of a large-scale ethnic cleansing campaign", Rugova noted, pressing for urgent international measures to halt Serbian aggression.

    Regarding the political solution, the Kosova President recalled that Kosova was an equal member of the former Yugoslav federation which has ceased to exist.

    The Kosovars have rightly exercised their self-determination right, and the best solution is independence for Kosova, with the Serb community's interests being guaranteed in it.

    The inauguration of the Parliament of Kosova, elected on 22 March 1998, is an important step in the institutionalization of life and the democratic order in Kosova, President Ibrahim Rugova said. A broadly-based coalition government will be formed soon, he added.

    Rugova urged OSCE to do more in the resolution of the Kosova issue, adding that he expected Kosova as an independent nation to become a full member of the organization.

    [04] President Rugova Receives Rumanian Diplomat

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova received today in Prishtina the Charge D' Affairs in the Embassy of Rumania in Belgrade, Mr. Gabriel Branzaru.

    The current developments in Kosova and the prospects for a negotiated resolution to the Kosova issue were discussed.

    President Rugova said an urgent international intervention is needed to halt the Serbian military and police crackdown in Kosova.

    He further noted that the best solution is independence for Kosova, an arrangement that would stabilize the entire region.

    The Rumanian diplomat stressed that his country stood for an equitable and peaceful solution for Kosova.

    [05] Heavy Fighting in the Streets of Rahovec Last Night and Today

    Casualty-toll feared high, one killed Albanian named so far

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - Serbian forces provoked a large-scale conflict in Rahovec ('Orahovac'), central Kosova, yesterday.

    Sources said that the whole thing started yesterday (Friday) afternoon, at around 17:30, when Serb forces provoked a massive conflict in the town. The dead body of a still unidentified man was reported earlier laying on the ground in a suburb of Rahovec, at a place called "Te Rrasat". A Serb police patrol which was heading to the location opened fire in the air and in the direction of houses, provoking people in the streets. Only a while later gunfire shooting could be heard in several places of the town, which lasted until 23:00 hrs.

    Witnesses told the Kosova Information Center (KIC) what heavy street fighting began in the town of Rahovec. There was intermittent firefighting in the town during the whole course of last evening and night.

    At around 21:00 electricity was cut to the town. Telephone lines have been cut today, too.

    Some residents of Rahovec told the KIC today morning that gunfire was being heard in several parts of the town still today. The local population has retreated into basements and other safer places.

    A Rahovec resident described as 'real war' what was going on in the town today morning.

    A source from Malisheva, a municipality neighboring on Rahovec, said in a telephone conversation with the KIC early in the afternoon today (Saturday) the casualty-toll could be high.

    Gani Pa^arizi, a resident of the village of Lubizhd& in Malisheva, was reported killed.

    Serbian media close to the Serb regime have described the situation in Rahovec as dramatic.

    Armed Albanians have attacked the village from all directions, the Serb media said.

    Albanians have laid siege to the town of Rahovec, and been attacking the police station there, they added.

    Residents have been fleeing the town, and 40 Serb citizens have been abducted by Albanians, Serb regime sources said.

    All signs were of an imminent Serb regime crackdown when 200 Serb policemen were sent to the town of Rahovec last week.

    The municipality of Rahovec, in south-west of Kosova, borders on the municipalities of Gjakova, Prizren, Suhareka and Malisheva.

    The municipality has a population of around 60.000, of whom 92 per cent Albanian. The town itself has around 20.000 residents, 80 per cent of them being Albanian.

    [06] Serb Forces Shell Territory Inside Albania, Kosovars Wounded

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - Serbian forces have shelled territory inside Albania today, news agencies said, adding that 19 Kosovar Albanians have been wounded while crossing from Kosova into Albania near Padesh.

    As many as 80 other Albanians are said to have run into a minefield, reports said, failing to offer details about the casualty figures.

    'Yugoslav' army has been laying mines in the Kosova-Albania border zone, sources warned last month.

    [07] Serbian Offensive in Border Area Villages Continues

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - Fighting was reported between Serbian military and police and local Albanians resistance forces last night today (Saturday) morning in the villages of the Reka e Keqe region along the border with Albania, the LDK Information Commission in Gjakova reported.

    Serbian forces have shelled the villages of Nec, Shishman, Smolic&, Morin& and the outlying area.

    Serbian helicopter gunships were involved in the recent attacks.

    Local resistance forces led by the U^K have been successfully repelling Serbian attacks, local sources said, adding that there was considerable material damage but no reported casualties.

    Meawnhile, LDK sources from De^an said Serbian forces attacked last night and today the villages of Carrabreg, Prejlep, Baballo^ and Grama^el. Several houses were set ablaze in Prejlep by Serb forces In Gjakova, LDK sources said Serbian police arrested Ms Hana Hyseni (1968), together with her children, Ded& (12), Drita (8) and the 14-month Doruntina in the suburbs of the town of Gjakova. They were reportedly coming from the village of Nec. In addition, Saly Backer, an activist with the international "Mostar's Angel' NGO was arrested there.

    Ten members of the Jetishi family, arrested two days, were still in custody, reports said, naming them as Zenel, Valon, Fadil, Agim, Kujtim, Mustaf&, Artan, Hysen, Behar and Kastriot Jetishi.

    Three other members of the family - Flamur, Genc and Adem Jetishi - who were released last evenign, were re-arrested today.

    An Albanian, Adem Gola, was arrested in Gjakov& yesterday afternoon. The pretext is still unknown.

    Two farmsteads in the village of Batush& have been reported set on fire after being looted by Serb forces.

    The Serbian check-point in the village of Bishtazhin, on the Gjakov&- Prizren roadway, was re-enforced yesterday afternoon and evening.

    Over 100 Serb policemen have been positioned in check-point near the elementary school building in the village past the roadway.

    Serb military and police have been roaming the town of Gjakova, and leaving for the Reka e Keqe region today, local sources said.

    [08] Serbian Forces Attacked the Village of Shkoz& Last Night

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - Seven Serbian policemen were killed and a number of others wounded during an attack by Serbian forces against the village of Shkoz& of Malisheva yesterday, local Albanian sources said.

    Some 200 Serb policemen were involved in the attack in the morning yesterday. Confronted with a stiff resistance by local Albanians, Serbs retreated.

    Serbian forces attacked the village of Shkoz& in the evening hours yesterday, from 18:00 through 21:00, local sources said today.

    The village was shelled from distance, from Serb military bases in Rogov& e Hasit and Landovic& village of Prizren.

    There have been no reported casualties among the Albanians in the latest Serb attack.

    Meanwhile, reports said Serbian forces manning the check-point in Kijeva, 40 km west of Prishtina, have shelled the villages of Bubavec and Mle^an.

    [09] Tensions Run High in Prizren

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - The situation has been rapidly escalating in Prizren in he wake of an attack by Serb forces in the town suburbs on Wednesday.

    The "Tusus" neighborhood in Prizren came under heavy Serb shelling on Wednesday afternoon. Several houses of Albanians in the area were burned and many other damaged.

    LDK sources in Prizren reported of stepped up movement and campaign of intimidation by Serb forces.

    Several Albanians were rounded up by the Serb police over the past two days. The LDK Commission named some of the detained Albanians Nevair Berisha (1967), Sherif Berisha (1962), Agim Krasniqi (1964), Afrim Berisha, Enver Omaj (1957), Reshat Shishko (1960) and Nehat Shishko (1964), Haki Kokulaj.

    None of them was reported released so far.

    Sources said there has been a significant build-up of Serb forces in Prizren and adjacent villages. Serb snipers have been positioned in many places, including the Landovica motel, near Prizren, sources said.

    [10] Returned Refugees Flee Homes Again As Serbs Fire onto Their Homes

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - Some 30 Albanian families who decided to return to their homes in a Peja neighborhood Friday were forced to flee again amidst a campaign of intimidation by Serbian forces.

    Residents of "Dardania" suburb in the southern part of Peja ('Pec') fled their homes ten days ago, when heavy fighting broke out in Loxha village, adjacent to the town.

    Witnesses told the KIC that Serb snipers positioned in key places in the area opened fire on several houses in the Dardania neighborhood yesterday afternoon. The returnees decided to flee again and seek shelter in safer paces.

    [11] Bodies of Three Unidentified Men Spotted in Malisheva and Skenderaj

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - Bodies of two men were spotted today in the fields of Lubizhda village of Malisheva, central Kosova.

    Sources in Malisheva said the two bodies were spotted by shepherds grazing sheep in the fields. They were carbonated and their identity could not be established.

    Meanwhile, the Serb daily Blic said today that the body of an Albanian was spotted near the Vojtish village, on the Skenderaj- Mitrovica road. The body of the man, whose identity could not be learned, was peppered with bullets, the Belgrade-based newspaper said.

    Blic said that a Serb policeman was wounded Wednesday evening in Llausha village of Skenderaj. The newspaper said the he was gunned down during an attack at the police check point between Llausha and Skenderaj.

    [12] Serb Press Claims Security Officer Was Shot Dead in Mitrovica

    PRISHTINA, July (KIC) - An officer with the Serb state security was shot dead in Mitrovica Wednesday night, according to the Serb media.

    The Serb press named the killed officer as Dejan Peric. He was gunned down at around 23:00 hrs in Mitrovica, the media said noting that he was sprayed with automatic rifle bullets.

    No further details related to the circumstances in which the Serb security member was killed have been available to the KIC.

    Meanwhile, Serb regime Media center in Prishtina said a Serb police officer, Sasa Filipovic, was killed by Albanians near the village of Grabovc, Klina, Friday afternoon.

    [13] Stepped Up Mobilization of Serbs in Gjilan

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - There has been a massive mobilization of Serbs in the municipality of Gjilan over the past three days, local sources said.

    Serb have been seen supplied with weapons and armament in several villages of Gjilan as well as the town itself. Local Serbs have been reportedly mobilized with the Serb forces in the villages of Pasjan, Zheg&r, Budrik& e Poshtme, Partesh, C&rnic&, Livo^ i Ep&rm, Koretisht&, Livo^i i Ep&rm, Kufc&, Draganc&, Strazh&, etc.

    Witnesses in Gjilan told the KIC that mobilized Serbs have been involved in military training in the Serb/Yugoslav army barracks in the town.

    Mobilization of Serbs has been reported in many other places of Kosova over the past days. Serbs have been seen being distributed arms and ammunition in police stations, community center and even school premises.

    Meanwhile, the LDK Information Commission in Gjilan said Serb police and military forces have been intimidating and provoking the Albanian population on a daily basis. A Serb army convoy drove through the streets of the town in a show of force. At around 1 p.m. a Serb soldier opened fire from a machine gun on top of a military vehicle.

    [14] Serb Court in Prishtina Sentences German Citizen to 30 Days in Jail

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - The Serb-run magistrate court in Prishtina sentenced Wednesday a German citizen to 30 days in prison.

    The Prishtina-based Serb daily "Jedinstvo" named the German citizen as Laske Vili Jozef Rihard (sp). He was charged with crossing illegally into Kosova from FYROM. The newspaper said Mr. Rihard was denied entrance to Kosova by Serb authorities at the Hani i Elezit border crossing.

    [15] Serb Police Harasses Harvesters in Vushtrri Villages

    PRISHTINA, July 18 (KIC) - Serb forces have been preventing wheat harvesters from working in the fields of Vushtrri ('Vucitern'), sources said.

    Albanian harvesters have been reported threatened and maltreated by Serb forces and armed civilians. The LDK chapter in Vushtrri said Bedri Nimani was beaten up brutally by the Serb police earlier this week. He was harvesting in his wheat fields when Serb police beat him up with no reason whatsoever, sources said.

    Kosova Information Center

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