ad info
   middle east

 custom news
 Headline News brief
 daily almanac
 CNN networks
 CNN programs
 on-air transcripts
 news quiz

CNN Websites
 video on demand
 video archive
 audio on demand
 news email services
 free email accounts
 desktop headlines

 message boards





World - Europe

KLA leader: Serbs executing, rounding up civilians

NATO, British leaders allege 'genocide' in Kosovo

Primakov to try to halt NATO bombings

NATO stealth missions continue after crash

Russia: NATO strikes hurting relations with U.S.

Clinton: NATO must keep up air campaign

Anti-NATO protests in Australia, Austria, Russia

Report: Police detain suspects in embassy shooting

Crisis in Kosovo

Ethnic Albanian pleads for NATO ground troops

March 28, 1999
Web posted at: 9:01 p.m. EST (0201 GMT)

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- A senior representative of the Kosovo Liberation Army says Serbian police and paramilitary forces are herding people into concentration camps, conducting mass executions and "terrorizing" ethnic Albanians in the province.

In a telephone interview with CNN from his hiding place near Pristina, Hashim Thaqi, one of the KLA delegates who signed the Western-brokered Kosovo peace deal, pleaded for intervention by NATO ground troops to stop the violence.

"Only NATO troops can save the people of Kosovo from further catastrophe," Thaqi said. "This is the hour of need for Kosovo."

Yugoslav officials have denied claims by ethnic Albanians that such atrocities are being carried out in Kosovo. But senior U.S. administration officials, NATO representatives and humanitarian groups have said a calculated campaign of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo has intensified since the beginning of NATO's military campaign against Yugoslavia.

The Kosovo Liberation Army is fighting for Kosovo's independence from Yugoslavia.

Thaqi said 20,000 people from the town of Drenica, including elderly women and young children, have been taken to an undisclosed location. He said 20,000 residents of another town were taken to a munitions factory, where they have been held for four days.

"We can openly say there are concentration camps in Kosovo now," he said. "It is of utmost importance that humanitarian groups and journalists see the truth for themselves."

Independent verification of ethnic Albanian claims of human rights abuses is difficult because most international observers, humanitarian workers and journalists have either left Kosovo or were expelled by Serbian officials.

Thaqi said 30 people were executed in one town Saturday night and 22 teachers were hanged in front of their students in another area. He estimated that 500,000 ethnic Albanians had fled into dense woods, and he said thousands were trying to flee across the province's borders into neighboring countries.

In Pristina, the provincial capital, Thaqi said there appeared to be a systematic campaign to wipe out the ethnic Albanian population.

"Pristina today is almost a dead city. There are executions happening," Thaqi said. "Many intellectuals are being killed, and whole neighborhoods are being ethnically cleansed by the paramilitary forces, Serbian military and police forces.

"The shops and houses are all being burned," he said.

Thaqi said KLA fighters have not fled the province and are "trying to defend the civilian population." He said they have met with some success in parts of Pristina.

Leaders of NATO countries have said repeatedly that they have no plans to introduce ground troops in a combat role in Kosovo.

Russia: NATO strikes hurting relations with U.S.
March 28, 1999
Thousands of ethnic Albanians said to be fleeing Kosovo
March 28, 1999
5th day of NATO strikes begins; ethnic Albanians flee Kosovo
March 28, 1999
Clinton: NATO must keep up air campaign
March 28, 1999
NATO investigating crash of U.S. warplane in Yugoslavia
March 28, 1999
Anti-NATO protests in Australia, Austria, Russia
March 28, 1999
Report: Police detain suspects in embassy shooting
March 28, 1999

  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from

  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.

Enter keyword(s)   go    help

Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.