wounded Bogdan Bukumiric - one of victims in the massacre of
Albanian terrorists against Serb children in Western part of
Kosovo and Metohija
TERRORIST KILL TWO AND WOUND FOUR SERBIAN CHILDREN IN KOSOVO
Two killed, at least five seriously wounded
in terorrist attack - Albanians stone and set on fire one of
the cars transporting injured Serb children - Great unrest in
Serb enclaves throughout Kosovo and Metohija - Bishop Artemije
strongly condemns crime
Gorazdevac, Gracanica - Unknown persons opened machine gun
fire on Serb children bathing in the Bistrica River not far
from Gorazdevac, Pec municipality. According to preliminary
information two Serb children were killed and at least
five others wounded.
Dakic (10) and Ivan Jovovic (20) were pronounced dead at Pec
Hospital while Bogdan Bukumiric (15) and Nikola Bogicevic are
in critical condition. Also seriously wounded were Dragana Srbljak
(14), Djordje Ugrenovic (20) and Marko Bogicevic, said Sladjana
Todorovic of Gorazdevac, who was with the wounded children in
Bogdan Bukumiric is scheduled to be transferred to Belgrade
by helicopter during the day. According to reports from the
field, Albanians stoned the vehicle of Milovan Pavlovic
while he was attempting to drive some of the wounded children
to Pec Hospital. Pavlovic sustained arm injuries. Local sources
report that the attackers also beat the wounded child in Pavlovic's
- The children were bathing today in the Bistrica River, some
500 meters from the center of the village, when they
were targeted by machine gun fire by unknown persons at about
13.30. Three rounds were fired. KFOR and UNMIK police
have not conducted an investigation at the site of the attack,
although members of the UN military mission helped to get from
Gorazdevac to Pec Hospital, whose staff is really trying to
help the wounded children," explained Sladjana Todorovic.
today is full of great unrest and fear. The nuns of the Pec
Patriarchate and the monks of Visoki Decani have urgently requested
KFOR to allow them to enter Gorazdevac. The sisterhood of the
Pec Patriarchate could not get an escort and the Decani monks
are still waiting for a positive response from KFOR to provide
them with a military escort.
- This is an unprecedented crime. In Kosovo and Metohija
for four years there has been no Serbian Army or police, who
Albanian terrorists claimed were their enemies, and they are
killing our children. In the past Serb children have been the
targets of grenades and run over by cars, and now they are being
perfidiously killed when they are swimming in the river
- said Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren, commenting on today's
terrorist attack near Gorazdevac.
Serb village of Gorazadevac is located near Pec and security
is provided by Italian KFOR troops. It is still the home of
some 1,000 Serbs, half of the village population prior to the
arrival of the UN mission in Kosovo and Metohija. The village
has a primary school and two secondary schools, one technical
and one economic. In order to obtain basics for life, residents
are dependent on military and police assistance or forced to
travel to northern Kosovska Mitrovica by escorted convoy.
Wounded Marko Bogicevic (age 11) in the military
field hospital in Prizren.
He was visited today by Abbot German of Holy Archangels
at Bistrica beach
gunman's brutal attack on a group of Serbian children swimming
in a Kosovan river has plunged the troubled region into further
crisis, writes Ian Traynor
mercury touching 40C (104F) in the blistering Balkan heatwave,
the children of Gorazdevac merrily pursued their favourite summer
pasttime - plunging in and out of a popular swimming stretch
of the river Bistrica in western Kosovo.
is a Serbian village among an overwhelming Albanian majority
in the United Nations-run province. The splashing children,
too, were Serbian, several dozen of them.
afternoon a man with a Kalashnikov machinegun suddenly started
spraying the water with bullets. Pantelija Dakic, 11, and Ivan
Jovovic, 20, were killed. Another four children were seriously
wounded. The rest fled in panic.
50 of us were taking a swim when we heard one, two, three machine
gun bursts. I saw children falling around me, and then felt
strong pain in my arm and knee," one of the wounded told
the Belgrade newspaper, Vecernje Novosti.
attack is extreme, even by the vicious standards that still
prevail in Kosovo four years after a war that ended with Nato
forces driving brutal Serbian occupying forces out of the province
and left the Albanians under an international protectorate.
also come at an extremely delicate time in the protracted wrangling
over what will become of Kosovo, with the Albanians insisting
on full independence, the Serbs demanding that Kosovo enjoy
a form of home rule within Serbia, and the international community
playing for time.
and armed attacks are a weekly occurrence in the streets and
villages of Kosovo, with the minority Serbs still clinging to
an existence in the province particularly under threat from
roaming bands of Albanian thugs.
childrens' clothes and bycicles remained on the river
after the massacre
A few days
before the beach killings, an Albanian gunman shot a Serb man
in the mouth while he was fishing. An Indian UN policeman was
killed by an Albanian sniper in a road ambush 10 days ago, the
first UN policeman to be murdered since the war ended in 1999.
beyond Kosovo's border in the Presevo area of Serbia proper,
where Albanian militants are on the prowl, a series of incidents
in recent weeks points to trouble ahead.
beach atrocity is assumed to have been the work of an Albanian
gunman although the perpetrator is still at large. The attack
on the children was exceptionally brutal. Predictably and understandably,
Serbia is in uproar over the crime.
government declared today a day of mourning for the victims.
An emergency session of the country's supreme defence council
was hurriedly convened to debate the crisis.
are not here to announce war or military messages," said
Svetozar Marovic, the head of state of the new loose union of
blocked roads in Kosovo and in southern Serbia. The Belgrade
government demanded that the UN security council meet to discuss
is descending into a catastrophe," said Nebojsa Covic,
the Serbian deputy prime minister responsible for Kosovo, who
said the murders constituted "a continuation of ethnic
cleansing of Serbs from Kosovo".
foreign ministry declared the murders were part of a planned
and coordinated campaign of terror aimed at Kosovo's destabilisation.
UN and Nato
officials in Kosovo deplored the murders as an act of barbarism.
Kosovo Albanian leaders also condemned the killings, but perhaps
a bit more hesitantly than they might have.
are shocked that someone in Kosovo could do such evil,"
Ramush Tahiri, a senior Kosovo Albanian official, told a Belgrade
television station. "Dark forces who bear ill intent towards
Kosovo are probably behind it."
to be seen what impact the murders will have on the wider effort
at conciliation and resolving the curious status of Kosovo,
currently a diplomatic and political limbo.
this week the Serbian prime minister, Zoran Zivkovic, laid out
Belgrade's claims with a declaration on Kosovo that is to be
adopted by the Serbian parliament after the summer recess. It
is a wish list instantly scorned by the Kosovo Albanian leadership,
with fat chance of becoming reality.
sovereignty and territorial inviolability extends to Kosovo,
the declaration asserted, and promised that once human and ethnic
minority rights are secured for the Serbs in Kosovo, the province
will also be afforded substantial autonomy.
essentially a return to the status quo ante of the 1980s before
the indicted war criminal, Slobodan Milosevic, abolished Kosovo's
autonomy and established a police state there. It is utterly
unacceptable to the Albanians who have since been through a
war to secure independence along with the other peoples of former
the Zivkovic demand presupposes that the loose union of Serbia
and Montenegro, established earlier this year, will survive
while most analysts view those chances as remote.
gambit, following the assassination in March of his predecessor,
Zoran Djindjic, is also aimed at building electoral support
among Serbian nationalists, a move which will inevitably produce
a parallel hardening of nationalist positions on the Albanian
blood of Ivan Jovic (19) who was killed at the spot by Albanian
On the fringes
of the European Union summit in Greece in June, it was announced
that the Serbs and Kosovo Albanians were about to embark on
their first negotiations since the end of the war. The talks,
initially to deal with low-level and administrative matters,
were to open last month. They did not. The talks are now expected
to begin within a couple of months.
the thuggery, and the political posturing highlight the problems
enveloping these negotiations and the challenges facing the
former Finnish prime minister, Harri Holkeri, who has just been
appointed the new UN chief in Kosovo after months of backroom
sniping and manoeuvring between the Americans and the Europeans.
has not even taken up his new post yet. Wednesday was the first
day of his first reconnaissance visit to Kosovo, the day of
the Bistrica beach atrocity.
transporting wounded attacked by Albanian hooligans in Pec -
Albanian medical staff refused medical assistance
we managed, with a KFOR military escort, to get to Pec Hospital
but once there we were mistreated even by the physicians, who
refused to give immediate assistance to the wounded boys,"
said Jandzikovic, who returned to Gorazdevac without his vehicle,
together with KFOR.
Beta News Agency, Belgrade
August 13, 2003
GORAZDEVAC - Gorazdevac local Rajko Jandzikovic, who was, after
today's attack on Serbs, transporting the wounded to the hospital
in Pec together with Milivoje Pavlovic, stated that they were
attacked near the farmer's market in that city by a group of
Albanians using their fists and stones.
A group of young people bathing in the Bistrica River near Pec
was targeted by machine gun fire in which two people were killed
and six wounded.
"Near the farmer's market our Opel Kadet with Zrenjanin
license plates ran out of fuel. I went to the KFOR checkpoint
some 50 meters away to ask if they would give us a liter of
fuel but the Italian soldiers turned us down, despite the fact
that I speak Italian relatively well," said Jandzikovic.
"We were then attacked by a group of young Albanians -
with fists and stones - while members of the Kosovo Police Service
nearby failed to react," he added.
said that "there were two boys in the car fighting for
their lives" and added that he does not understand "what
is happening to people."
"Somehow we managed, with a KFOR military escort, to get
to Pec Hospital but once there we were mistreated even by the
physicians, who refused to give immediate assistance to the
wounded boys," said Jandzikovic, who returned to Gorazdevac
without his vehicle, together with KFOR.
His shirt is soaked with blood and there are several bruises
on his face.
the crime against Serb children on the Bistrica River.
Terrorists opened fire on the swimming children from the opposite
Children's clothing, bicycles and other articles remain strewn
CRIME IN GORAZDEVAC AN
INDICATOR OF THE REAL SITUATION IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
Fr. Sava (Janjic)
against the Serb children of the village of Gorazdevac near
Pec has deeply shaken all Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija
and throughout Serbia and left behind it a numbing pain
and an awful feeling of helplessness. The brutality and cowardice
of this terrorist act have cast a dark shadow over the entire
previous UN mission and KFOR, who in the more than four years
of their stay in Kosovo and Metohija have not even managed to
protect the Serb population living in militarily protected enclaves,
let alone to secure a normal life for all throughout the territory
of the Province.
After all, this crime is not just some "isolated incident"
committed by anonymous extremists. The massacre of innocent
children in Gorazdevac is first and foremost a shocking indicator
of the real situation in Kosovo and Metohija that the majority
of UNMIK and KFOR representatives, together with Albanian political
leaders, are persistently attempting to hide from the global
public in order to rationalize their own failures. For months
international representatives have been shouting from the rooftops
how the security situation has improved, how the Serb security
problem is "all in their frustrated minds" and how
a contemporary European society is being built in Kosovo and
Metohija. However, when they themselves begin to believe their
own lies, a crime occurs that reveals a completely different
This tragedy, therefore, is no "isolated incident"
but an illustration of a shocking phenomenon and the culmination
of a collective criminal mentality being nurtured and formed,
especially during the last four years, in the souls of many,
if not the great majority, of Kosovo Albanians. The formation
of this retrograde consciousness is the outcome not only of
the Albanian language media constantly fanning the flames of
ethnic hatred or school programming where the most hardened
criminals and opportunists are identified in the eyes of Albanian
children as heroes of justice and democracy but also of
an ubiquitous attitude of indifference on the part of international
bureaucrats whose activity in the Province seems to have been
reduced to recording crimes as they occur and feverish efforts
to bail out as quickly as possible from their written off mission.
Murdered Ivan Jovic (age 19)
The UN Security
Council and NATO headquarters, as well as the governments of
Western countries, are constantly being sent dressed up and
false reports from Pristina that talk about the great successes
of the mission and the progress toward a multiethnic society.
When, at a recent meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the
decision-making body of NATO, KFOR commander general Fabio Mini
recently provided horrific facts regarding corruption
in Kosovo and Metohija institutions, especially the Kosovo Protection
Corps, and informed the ministers of NATO member countries of
the extent of Albanian extremism, many found it difficult to
believe because they have been and still are receiving completely
different information from their own representatives in Pristina.
The crime in Gorazdevac was undoubtedly committed by a
sick person because only such a person could harm innocent children
nonchalantly swimming in the river. However, the attack against
four Serbs in Pec, including a child seriously wounded in the
preceding incident, shows that the boundaries of the crime are
much broader and even more serious. What kind of moral wasteland
rages in the souls of the Pec residents who bestially descended
on a parent transporting his wounded child to the hospital?
The spontaneous reaction of the Albanians in Pec is primarily
the direct consequence of the activity of Albanian institutions
in the Province institutionalizing the rule of ethnic terror
and violence and proclaiming crime to be the standard of
justice and law. The glorification of terrorists as "freedom
fighters" by the Kosovo parliament, systematic discrimination
against the non-Albanian population in all spheres of life and
persistent obstruction of the return of displaced persons are
just some of the most extreme activities being directly implemented
under the auspices of these new institutions created by UNMIK.
Such institutions are not only preventing the building of a
democratic society but actually systematically destroying every
possibility of common life. Through their activities such institutions
serve primarily as a smokescreen for criminals and mafiosi presently
in the roles of leading politicians who enjoy the reputation
of national heroes and saviors of the Albanian people.
past four years the international community has shown itself
to be incapable not only of preventing Albanian ethnic
violence but of solving a single serious crime. More than two
months have passed since the massacre of the Stolic family and
the investigation has not yet to produce a single result. The
situation is similar with dozens of other crimes, the most audacious
of which include the massacre of peasants harvesting their
crops in Staro Gracko and the planting of explosives by
terrorists on a Serb bus in Livadice. More than one hundred
Orthodox Christian churches have been destroyed during the war;
not one perpetrator of these barbarian attacks has been found
nor is there any ongoing nvestigation. Investigations are obstructed
by Albanian extremists who have scared the wits out of their
more honorable compatriots and international representatives
more concerned about their personal safety than the eradication
of this rule of terror.
Murdered Panto Dakic (age 10)
Therefore, the question to ask is whether the international
community is indeed incapable or whether it simply lacks the
will to confront Albanian terrorism? UNMIK police and KFOR have
at their disposal exceptionally comprehensive intelligence and
state-of-the-art technical means so it is difficult to believe
that they are really unable to resolve these serious crimes.
The real issue is the lack of will to cast former "allies"
in a negative light because this would undermine the very "legitimacy"
of the peacekeeping mission itself. The revelation of the whole
truth regarding the criminal activity of the KLA, systematically
armed by the governments of some Western countries, the legitimacy
of military intervention and the bombing of Serbian cities,
towns and villages resulting the deaths of thousands of innocent
civilians would be brought into question. Finally, the horrible
truth would emerge that the greatest suffering in Kosovo and
Metohija began as the first bombs began to fall from combat
jets and that a regime that was undemocratic was simply replaced
by a rule of ethnic terror and violence under the UN flag.
crime in Gorazdevac must become a turning point in this retrograde
policy justifying crime and the beginning of facing the reality
of the situation on the ground. It is high time for the
sterile rhetoric and "serious concerns" typically
found in press releases brimming with clichés to be replaced
by clear and unambiguous qualifications. It is time to undertake
concrete measures to stop ethnic violence and begin a true process
leading to peace.
If the international UN mission and the new chief of UNMIK comprehend
the significance of this development and actively begin to correct
the mistakes made during the last four years, there is hope
that one day peace and the rule of law will reign in this region.
However, if the policy of rationalizing and covering up crimes
while systematically deceiving the public continues, the mission
will experience a complete collapse and be forced to either
withdraw in complete defeat or go to the end and impose a Fascist
creation like the independent state of Kosovo Albanians.
with mother of deceased Ivan Jovic
and KFOR have nor fully investigated a single major ethnic crime
Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, Bishop Artemije in Gorazdevac,
ARTEMIJE VISITS GORAZDEVAC - RESIDENTS OF GORAZDEVAC SEND
PROTEST LETTER TO KOFI ANNAN
KIM INFO SERVICE
Gorazdevac, August 14, 2003
Today Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren visited the Serb
village of Gorazdevac near Pec, the scene of yesterday's massacre
of Serb children swimming in the Bistrica River. Addressing
the people gathered in protest in the center of the village,
Bishop Artemije most strongly condemned the massacre of the
children, saying that "this crime was committed not only by
those who pulled the trigger but also by those who trained and
incited them to do this and those who are hiding them from the
hand of justice." "Almost every crime against Serbs remains
unpunished to this day, including the crimes in Staro Gracko,
Livadice and the recent massacre of the Stolic family in Obilic,"
Artemije called on the people to remain calm despite their pain
and appealed to international representatives to bring the perpetrators
of this heinous crime to justice as soon as possible.
Bishop Artemije's speech Dr. Mileta Bukumiric read the following
protest letter addressed to United Nations Secretary-General
Kofi Annan on behalf of the protest initiative board:
TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL,
MR. KOFI ANNAN
The many years of violence against Serbs in the region of
Kosovo and Metohija culminated yesterday in Gorazdevac with
the unprecedented murder of innocent children characteristic
only of barbarians or people who are mentally ill. Gorazdevac
experienced its greatest tragedy since its founding to the present
day at the beginning of the 21st century thanks to your indecisiveness
or unwillingness to look truth in the eyes. Yet again in a countless
series of instances your mission in Kosovo and Metohija has
proven to be a failure. The international community has been
shamed before the entire world because yesterday the blood of
innocent children not yet old enough to wish evil upon anyone
has been spilt and it has splattered you.
What else needs to happen for you to comprehend who is the
victim and who are the terrorists with Fascist intentions? And
how much longer will the open season on Serbs in their own land
It is high time for you to carry out your role in Kosovo and
Metohija responsibly and carry out the responsibilities you
under took before arriving here. You have no right to be a silent
witness to unspeakable crimes against unprotected people and
innocent children whose fate is in your hands. Tell the justice-loving
people of our planet whether it is because of your powerlessness
or lack of desire and intention to live up to the task you assumed
and confront the terrorists and their commanders. You are responsible
for the tragedy in Gorazdevac. This form of presence here
by your people, the tailors of our fate, who are supposed to
guarantee our security at least within our own walls, is pointless.
You are expected to be the guardians of peace and the guarantors
of freedom for all ethnic communities, even the Serbs in their
ghettoes in their centuries-old homes. If you cannot ensure
this it would be better for you to withdraw your forces from
Kosovo and Metohija and salvage the reputation of the greatest
global organization. It would be better for you to leave us
to defend ourselves to the best of our ability than for us to
continue to rely on you and continue to perish as we have done
for the past four years.
Gorazdevac, August 14, 2003
Protest Initiative Board
After the protest gathering Bishop Artemije visited the Dakic
and Jovic families and expressed his sympathies. The families
of the victims were also visited by Kosovo and Metohija Ombudsman
Marek Nowicki and Mr. Ljubinko Todorovic, who accompanied the
Ugrenovic (age 20) in hospital in northern half of Kosovska