14 Serb farmers killed in Kosovo, NATO reports
Most violent incident since peacekeepers arrived
July 23, 1999
PRISTINA, Kosovo (CNN) -- NATO peacekeepers confirmed Saturday they are investigating the shooting of 14 Serb farmers in a field in Kosovo.
According to KFOR officials, the Friday night killings represent the most violent incident in Kosovo since peacekeeping troops arrived in mid-June to restore security, following the withdrawal of Yugoslav military and police forces.
CNN's Nic Robertson said British KFOR forces have sealed off the area.
According to KFOR spokesman Major Jan Joosten, British troops were patrolling near the town of Lipljan at 9.30 p.m. (1930 GMT) on Friday when they heard shooting.
About 30 minutes later, they discovered the bodies of 13 Serbs who had been shot dead next to their combined harvester.
The body of a 14th Serb was discovered 150 yards (meters) away on a tractor, Joosten said.
The killings occurred on a rough farm track about half a mile (1 km) from the village of Gracko.
Ethnic Albanian revenge attacks on Serbs have been the main problem for NATO-led peacekeeping forces since their arrival in Kosovo.
The victims' bodies were removed to Pristina hospital, officials said.
British military police were leading the investigation. KFOR says it will aggressively track the perpetrators.
"KFOR and the international police will hunt down those responsible for this awful crime. We will ensure they are brought to justice to face the full might of the law," Joosten said.
Correspondent Nic Robertson contributed to this report.
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