U.S.: Serbs destroying bodies of Kosovo victims
May 5, 1999
From CNN's Sharona Schwartz
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Serb forces in Kosovo are destroying the bodies of murdered ethnic Albanians and are using hunger as a way to drive others from the province, the U.S. State Department said Wednesday.
"We continue to hear from refugees ... a number of accounts of different kinds of crimes and atrocities, including recently that Serb forces are burning or destroying the bodies of their victims," said James Foley, State Department deputy spokesman.
In the area of Slatina in northern Kosovo, Foley said, "26 ethnic Albanian men were reportedly abducted and murdered and their corpses thrown down a well. The well was dynamited to destroy both the bodies and the well.
"In another case, refugees report that more than 60 ethnic Albanians were killed in Kacanik -- south of Pristina near the Macedonian border -- between May 1 and 2," he said.
"Witnesses report that a large number of bodies were taken to Urosevac ... where their disposition is unknown," Foley said.
War crimes experts say the Serbs appear to be trying to destroy evidence of "crimes that they've been committing since before the NATO airstrikes began," Foley added.
There are also increasing reports from refugees that Serbs are firing artillery shells at displaced ethnic Albanians hiding in the mountains of Kosovo, he said.
Foley added: "In many ways, the flight of refugees from Kosovo is increasingly a flight from hunger."
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