February 17, 2007

KiM Info Newsletter 17-02-07

In Memoriam - six years after the Nis Express Massacre

Today's edition of our KIM-info Newsletter we devote to the victims of the "Nis Express Massacre" which happened five years ago, on February 16, 2001, near Podujevo. This heinous crime, one of the worst of its kind in post-war Kosovo has never been fully investigated by UNMIK police and KFOR and its perpetrators have not been brought to justice until know. One of the suspects, a Kosovo Albanian former UCK/KLA millitant Florim Ejupi, a member of a terrorist organization ANA(Albanian National Army - AKSH) managed to ran away from the US Millitary Detention facility at Camp Bondsteel in Eastern Kosovo under very mysterious circumstances.

KIM Info-service has made availabe a photo gallery with photos of the attacked bus. Caution! Some of the photos are of very graphic contents:


The view of the attacked bus, February 2001 (click to enlarge)

KIM Info-service
17February 2007

Today's edition of our KIM-info Newsletter we devote to the victims of the "Nis Express Massacre" which happened five years ago, on February 16, 2001, near Podujevo. This heinous crime, one of the worst of its kind in post-war Kosovo has never been fully investigated by UNMIK police and KFOR and its perpetrators have not been brought to justice for this crime until now. One of the suspects, a Kosovo Albanian former UCK millitant Florim Ejupi, a member of a terrorist organization ANA(Albanian National Army - AKSH), managed to ran away from the US Millitary Detention facility at Camp Bondsteel in Eastern Kosovo under very mysterious circumstances.

In the bomb attack on Serb pilgrims heading to participate in a religious ceremony in Gracanica one entire buss was torn into pieces. The final death score was 12 dead Serbs and 40 wounded, some of them women and children. The survivers in the bus graphically described shocking scenes of human joints hanging around in the charred buss shell. Pieces of human bodies could be found dozens of meters around. The terrorists placed large quantities of explosives under a little bridge in an exclusively Albanian inhabited part of Podujevo municipality in order to blow up a Serb bus which was travelling in a convoy escorted by Swedish KFOR. The explosives were activated from a safe distance.

Regrettably, this crime as well as other major ethnic crimes against Kosovo Serbs under UN protectorate in Kosovo, remains uninvestigated - "Harvest massacre" in Staro Gracko in summer 1999, "River massacre of Gorazdevac children" in summer 2003, "Massacre of the Stolic family" in Obilic in 2003 and others. Several hundreds of Kosovo Serbs were killed in a series of systematic ethnic violence which culminated with the March riots 2004. Hundreds were kidnapped by UCK and many of their bodies have been recovered from mass graves around Kosovo.

Praying for the blessed repose of victims of this and other terrorist attacks we remember the words of the former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson who said on the occasion of the "Bus massacre" - "Nato did not conduct its air campaign in order to see ethnic cleansing by one group replaced by the ethnic attacks and intimidation of another."

The wish of the Kosovo Serb people remains that terrible crimes of the war and not less terrible crimes of the post-war period are finally replaced by tolerance and safety of all Kosovo communities.

Gorica Stjepanovic, 24, who survived the attack with eye injuries, said: "All of a sudden, everything burst, the bus seemed to have fallen apart. "Blood was dripping from the roof. When I managed to get out, parts of bodies were everywhere."

The names of killed Serbs in the bomb attack:

 
1. STOJANOVIĆ NENAD (born 7. July 1943) Nis,
2. KRAGOVIĆ MILINKO (born 5. January 1943),
3. LAZAR MILIKIĆ (born 19. June, 1936) Lipljan,
4. DRAGAN VUKOTIĆ (born 2. November, 1954) Kosovo Polje
6. SNEŽANA COKIĆ VUKOTIC, (born 16. February, 1975), Lipljan
7. DANILO COKIĆ (born in 1999), two old child, the son of Dragan Vukotic and Snezana Cokic Vukotic
8. MIRJANA DRAGOVIĆ (born 12. January, 1981) Laplje Selo
9. SUNČICA PEJČIĆ (born 14. January, 1972) Pristina
10.TIHOMIR STOJKOVIĆ (born 18. January, 1969) Kosovska Kamenica
11. ŽIVANA TOKIĆ (born 5. May, 1948) Skulanevo Pristina, died 10 days later due to the wounds
12.N. TOKIĆ – Zivana's husband, died two months later due to the injuries in the bomb attack
 
MEMORY ETERNAL!

 
KIM Info-service has made availabe a photo gallery with photos of the attacked bus. Caution! Some of the photos are of very graphic contents: http://www.kosovo.net/images/livadice_album/index.htm


BBC.CO.UK   February 16

2001: Serbs killed in Kosovo pilgrimage

A bomb attack on a bus convoy that was carrying more than 250 Serbs to a religious ceremony in Kosovo, has claimed the lives of at least seven people, including women and children, and injured more than 40.

Ethnic Albanian extremists, who are trying to drive Serbs out of Kosovo, have been blamed for the attack. It took place near the town of Podujevo in northern Kosovo, 40km (25 miles) north-east of the capital Pristina.

The remote-controlled bomb was detonated 400m from the road at around noon, hitting the first of five buses which had just crossed the border into Kosovo from the city of Nis in Serbia.


Dozens of meters around were scattered the pieces of human remains and
personal things of passengers (click to enlarge)
 

'Ethnic cleansing'

Gorica Stjepanovic, 24, who survived the attack with eye injuries, said: "All of a sudden, everything burst, the bus seemed to have fallen apart. "Blood was dripping from the roof. When I managed to get out, parts of bodies were everywhere."

The group of Serbs, who moved to Serbia fearing ethnic Albanian attacks, were travelling to the village of Gracanica in Kosovo to visit family graves. The Orthodox Day of the Dead - 17 February - is when Serbs remember their dead.

The attack has sparked violent protests from the victims' relatives in Gracanica, who have blocked the main road into Pristina and set vehicles on fire. The convoy was accompanied by five Swedish armoured vehicles which were unaffected.

Leaders of Kosovo's Albanian majority condemned the latest attack and said it was a serious blow to attempts to build peace.

Nato called the killings "premeditated murder".

Its Secretary General George Robertson said: "Nato did not conduct its air campaign in order to see ethnic cleansing by one group replaced by the ethnic attacks and intimidation of another."

The Yugoslav Government also condemned the attack and has declared a day of national mourning for the victims. Earlier that week United Nations police came under attack in the town of Strpce after a Serbian man died while travelling in a UN convoy.


Additional reading on the Nis-Express Massacre, Florin Ejupi and terrorists of ANA (AKSH):

A blown up Serb bus
The terrorist attack was performed by members of so called Albanian National Army (ANA or AKSH)
which was two years later proclaimed by UNMIK chief a terrorist organization. What happens with
Ejupi after he was arrested in Tirana in 2004 is not clearly known. KIM Info service learns that
he may have been charged for killing some policemen but not for the NIs Express attack.

THE SUNDAY TIMES, July 29, 2001
British troops' error led to bus bomb

Full article:
http://www.balkanpeace.org/index.php?index=article&articleid=10059

"It was more than a mistake," said Captain Simon Bergman, the British Army
spokesman in Kosovo. "Circumstances conspired to allow the terrorists to
carry out these murders. We deeply regret what happened and have taken
measures to ensure that lessons have been learnt and it will not happen
again."

The murky aftermath of the so-called Nis Express bombing was further
obscured when the chief suspect "escaped" in bizarre circumstances from a
high- security American prison in the province.

The detective who headed the investigation into the attack has said he does
not believe the suspect, a Kosovar Albanian who is also wanted in Germany on
manslaughter and attempted murder charges, left the American Bondsteel base
unaided.

"My opinion is he did not escape," said Detective Stu Kellock, former head
of the United Nations Kosovo Mission's regional serious crime squad. "I
thought a prisoner could not just walk away from Bondsteel. In my opinion he
was taken elsewhere for questioning or something and I still do not
understand why we, the police in the investigation who held jurisdiction,
were not involved."

UN sources believe the suspect, Florim Ejupi, who was wearing a bright
orange prison uniform when he vanished and was said to have cut his way
through four sets of barbed wire fences with a simple tool, had been working
for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). His trial would have been a
serious embarrassment, they claim.


Rocket Attack, Grenades and Gun Battle- Kosovo's Latest "Isolated Incidents"

BALKANALYSIS (USA)

More: http://www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2005/December_11/3.html

... According to the Sunday Times of London on 29 July, 2001, the bombing occurred because of a "simple mistake by British soldiers" combined with "a failure in basic communications." The British and other UN colleagues had been aware for months, the report claimed, of the exact location Albanians were planning to conduct such an attack. But on 16 February, ".a series of factors coincided to change the routine of the weekly convoy which carried civilians from Serbian enclaves within Kosovo across the border for shopping and family visits. A critical half-mile stretch of road, including two culverts beneath it, went unchecked by a British patrol."

The aftermath of the bombing became more scandalous still when one of the accused, Florim Ejupi, managed to "escape" from the high-security US Camp Bondsteel in southern Kosovo. The British newspaper cited Detective Stu Kellock, former head of the United Nations Kosovo Mission's regional serious crime squad who stated his disbelief at the escape story ".a prisoner could not just walk away from Bondsteel. In my opinion he was taken elsewhere for questioning or something and I still do not understand why we, the police in the investigation who held jurisdiction, were not involved." The newspaper concludes by citing unnamed UN officials. Allegedly, Ejupi "had been working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). His trial would have been a serious embarrassment, they claim."...


KOSOVO ALBANIANS ARRESTED IN ALBANIA TRANSFERRED TO UNMIK CUSTODY

UNMIK Police Press release
Pristina, June 9, 2004

http://www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2004/June_09/5.html

On 7 June 2004, acting upon information provided by UNMIK Police and in execution of an international arrest warrant issued by UNMIK against Florim Ejupi, the Albanian Police arrested in Tirana, Florim Ejupi and two other Kosovo Albanians, Faik Shaqiri and Xhavit Kosumi.  These individuals were transferred on 8 June 2004 to Kosovo and are now in the custody of UNMIK.

Florim Ejupi is the main suspect of the February 2001 bombing of the Nis Express bus in Podujevo as it was traveling between Nis and Gracanica. Eleven Serbs were killed and 40 others wounded in this attack.

Faik Shaqiri and Xhavit Kosumi, who were in the company of Florim Eujpi at the time of their arrest, are suspected of involvement in murders and other criminal acts in Kosovo.

These arrests mark a significant success for law enforcement agencies in Kosovo as UNMIK Police have been actively tracking Florim Ejupi for several years.  This is a good example of how Regional Police cooperation brings about effective and positive results in identifying and arresting criminals.


Bus-bombing suspects arrested in Tirana (RTS)

http://www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2004/June_08/3.html

Three Kosovo Albanians charged with terrorism have been arrested in Tirana, the Albanian Police spokeswoman Ediira Teferichi announced. According to the Albanian Police, Florim Ejupi (25) is responsible for murdering a NATO soldier alongside with 11 Serbs by activating an explosive device under the “Nis Express” bus in the village of Livadice near Podujevo in February 2001. Ejupi is also connected with murders of one international and one local KPS policeman, as well as for wounding two police officers in March 2004. The other two, Faik Saciri (22) and Xevat Kosuni (36), for whom the German Police has released international warrants a couple of months ago, are also charged with murders and terrorist actions, the Albanian daily "Gazette Schiptare" reported.

The Albanian Police made the arrests at UNMIK Police request and the three Kosovo Albanians are currently held in custody, waiting for UNMIK Police to send files of the arrested persons to Interpol Office in Albania for the procedure of extradition to start. The daily writes that the group headed by Florim Ejupi was located with the assistance of the CIA, whose agents have been intensively searching for Ejupi, because he had succeeded to escape from detention in the US military base Bondsteel. The Albanian Police says that Ejupi and Saciri are members of the Albanian National Army (ANA).


Kosovo Albanian daily confirms existance of a terrorist army in Kosovo

http://www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2005/August_27/1.html

The existence of the Albanian National Army has always been covered by mystery. This shaddowy organization was first time internationally recognized after an attempt to blow up a bridge in North  Kosovo when UNMIK chief Michael Steiner officially proclaimed ANA a terrorist organization. ANA or AKSH in Albanian is suspected of many terrorist acts in post war Kosovo not only against Serbs but also against dissenting Kosovo Albanians....

...ANA is thought to be composed by certain numeber of KLA veterans who claim that the war is not over and that it has to be continued until all "lands inhabited by Albanians" are territorially united and all non-Albanians finally expelled from Ethnic Albania i.e. Greater Kosovo. They are still regularly supplied with illegal weapons, despite NATO presence, as it can be seen in most recent documentary films by PBS and the Dutch Television ().


KIM Info-service Archive on ANA (AKSH) Activities:

ERPKIM Archive | ANA Attacking In April, VREME FYR Macedonia ...
During the meetings between the most influential ANA representatives it was ...
A so-called "Army of Republic of Kosovo" is also placed as part of ANA. ...
www.kosovo.net/news/archive/ ticker/2005/February_04/43.html - 21k

ERPKIM Archive | Three members of the ANA with insignia appear in ...
Kosovo Albanian daily "KOHA DITORE" writes that three ANA members appeared at
... "Koha Ditore" adds that UNMIK and KFOR, which have proclaimed the ANA a ...
www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2004/April_13/7.html - 8k

ERPKIM Archive | History repeats in Kosovo - ANA terrorists appear ...
The Kosovo Albanian extremists of the ANA and other KLA satellite organizations
... Yesterday's appearance of uniformed Albanian National Army (ANA or AKSH) ...
www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2004/April_13/6.html - 37k

ERPKIM Archive | Admiral Jonhson - appearance of ANA terrorist ...
(ANA) showed up during the re-burial on Monday of two ethnic Albanian guerrillas
who died fighting Serb forces five years ago, several dailies said. ...
www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2004/April_14/2.html - 8k

ERPKIM Archive | Bus-bombing suspects arrested in Tirana - ANA ...
The Albanian Police says that Ejupi and Saciri are members of the Albanian National
Army (ANA). Solana Wonders Where Kosovo Society Belongs To ...
www.kosovo.net/news/archive/2004/June_08/3.html - 20k -

ERPKIM Archive | Graffiti By Terrorist Organization ANA On UNMIK ...
Although ANA was proclaimed a terrorist organization by the UNMIK decree in 2003,
Philips evaluated the graffiti as criminal acts and not as terrorist ...
www.kosovo.net/news/archive/ ticker/2004/December_24/31.html - 18k

ERPKIM Archive | Albanian Terrorism uncovere, April 10,2003
Proclamation of ANA as a terrorist organization is a major step forward towards
... The decision to declare ANA a terrorist organization was the first such ...
www.kosovo.net/erpkim18apr03.html - 63k

ERPKIM Archive, ANA Claims Bridge Blast, Apr 15, 2003
In the statement, signed by "Colonel Ilir Kodra", ANA reaffirmed its responsibility
... In ANA'S statement published on its web-site (www.aksh.org) it is ...
www.kosovo.net/erpkim15apr03.html - 40k


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