U R G E N T

ELDERLY SERBS ATTACKED IN PEC
A mob of more than 600 Albanians attacked a bus with elderly Serbs with stones and Molotov cocktails and classhed with UN Police and NATO peacekeepers. Several policemen and elderly Serbs injured

KIM RADIO - KOSOVO AND METOHIJA
Nearly 1000 Kosovo Albanians today in Pec attacked a bus with about 45 Serbs from Osojane who were escorted by a Spanish KFOR unit to open bank accounts to receive pensions. The bus with forty-two residents of Osojane over the age of 65 years, who headed to Pec accompanied by two vehicles and 15 Spanish KFOR troops in order to register for UNMIK pensions, were attacked by Albanians in front of the social services building. According to Dusanka Miladinovic from Osojane, a bus with Pec license plates arrived from Gorazdevac and left Osojane for Pec around noon. In the social services building, a female Albanian office clerk began to shout at the Serb clients when they arrived, addressing them with insults and asking them why they had come. According to Dusanka's account, a foreign employee of the bureau who realized something strange was going on relocated the Serbs to an empty room. Meanwhile in front of the building a crowd of Albanians gathered, shouting and chanting "UCK, UCK" /KLA/. Gun shots were also heard and the building was protected by UNMIK police and the Spanish KFOR troops who had escorted the Serbs. The Albanian masses, numbering about 1,000, used stones to smash all the windows on the bus and then attempted to set it on fire. After two hours of isolation the Serbs from Osojane were escorted to the vehicle by strong KFOR and UNMIK police forces which failed to deter their stoning by the Albanian crowd. Djuro and MIlija Djuric sustained injuries and we have unofficial information that at least one soldier fromthe Spanish KFOR contingent and several UNMIK police were also injured.

TWO VIDEO REPORTS
Ethnic Albanians Protest Serb's Return To Kosovo (Reuters Video)
- Oct 11 10:46 AM ET

Ethnic Violence in Kosovo Injures Two (AP Video)
- Oct 10 5:56 PM ET

Communique of the Serbian Orthodox Church and SNC
POLITIKA: Serbs and UN Police Stoned, Oct 12, 2002
BLIC: We barely made it out alive, Oct 12
GLAS: Three Serb returnees injured, Oct 12
AFP, UN police, ethnic Albanians clash in western Kosovo, Oct 10
AP: NATO, UN police clash with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo
Other Reactions



COMMUNIQUE OF THE DIOCESE OR RASKA AND PRIZREN AND THE SERB NATIONAL COUNCIL OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

Gracanica, October 11, 2002

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija most strongly condemn yesterday's attack by over 600 Albanians with stones and Molotov cocktails against a bus transporting elderly Serbs from the nearby village of Osojane to Pec where they were to receive social assistance payments and pensions from UNMIK. Even though the bus was under the military protection of Spanish KFOR soldiers, the Albanian masses broke all the windows on the bus and injured several of the passengers. After the Serbs were sheltered in the building of the UN Mission, the Albanians continued to stone the UN police and KFOR until the intervention of a special riot squad broke up the crowd with tear gas. The Serbs were evacuated after two hours of siege in the UN building. According to information from Osojane, three Serbs were seriously injured while others sustained less serious injuries. Official UN Mission spokespersons have confirmed that several policemen were also injured in clashes with the Albanians. According to the innitial information the attack was planned beforehand because the rioters had their Molotov cocktails ready.

This latest attack on Serb residents of Kosovo and Metohija and international forces clearly shows that three full years after the war in Kosovo and Metohija there is still no freedom of movement or security for the Serb population. Only two months ago Albanians armed with guns attacked a group of Serbs and KFOR soldiers in the nearby village of Gorazdevac, which represents an alarming signal to the international community that its policies towards Albanian extremism in the southern Serbian province must be changed urgently. Tolerating extremist and radical leaders and their armed paramilitary groups which are constantly encouraging violence toward Serbs are increasingly pushing Kosovo and Metohija towards ethnic violence and collective lynchings of the helpless Serb population. Such incidents seriously undermine the confidence of the Serbs in Kosovo institutions and even further discourage the Serb population from participating in upcoming local elections. As long as still armed Albanian extremists continue their unobstructed activities, Kosovo institutions represent only a façade of false and nonexistent democracy in which Serbs cannot participate.

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren and the Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija therefore appeal to the UN Mission and KFOR to undertake as sson as possible concrete and firm measures for the protection of the remaining Serb population from Albanian violence and to enable the building of Serb institutions in enclaves where Serbs live by adopting the decentralization program for the Province. It is absolutely immoral to insist on Serb participation in joint Kosovo institutions as long as ethnic discrimination and violence against the Serb population reign throughout the Province.

Politika, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
October 11, 2002

SERBS AND UN POLICE STONED

Albanian extremists injure several passengers from bus and members of UN

Kosovska Mitrovica, October 11

An attack on a Serb convoy in Pec and UN police protecting it two days ago in Pec has resulted in strong reactions from representatives of the international community and Serb leaders in Kosovo and Metohija.

Albanian extremists who showered Serbs and UN police with Molotov cocktains and stones, injuring several people and damaging several vehicles in which the Serbs from Osojane arrived in Pec. In order to protect them from being lynched, UN police enlisted the help of a Spanish special forces unit and Italian KFOR troops. The blockade was removed after KFOR troops fired tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd of extremists.

The Serbs headed from Osojane to Pec around noon with an escort of two vehicles from the UN mission and 15 soldiers from the Spanish and Italian contingents in order to open accounts for their pensions in the Bureau for Disbursements to open accounts for their pensions.

In a bus with Pec license plates and a Serb driver and conductor were 42 residents from two Serb villages in the Pec district. The Albanian office clerk, realizing she was being addressed by a Serb and that there were about ten more Serbs in the lobby, began to loudly shout: "What are you doing here". She then fled from the building and began to shout "UCK" /KLA/. As a result of her shouts and the insults she was directing at the Serbs, about 200 Albanians immediately gathered around the building of the Bureau for Disbursements. Noticing that something strange was going on, one of the KFOR soldiers reacted quickly, ordering the Serbs to gather in one place and then evacuating them into the closest empty room in the building. Albanians continued to gather in front of the building. There were soon about 1,000 of them and they chanted: "UCK, UCK" and "Shkija, Shkija" /derogatory word for Serbs/.

They began to throw stones at the bus as well as towards the building where the Serbs were located. Shots were also heard. In response to a call from the KFOR troops and UNMIK a police special forces units of the Spanish and Italian contingents soon arrived in front of the building. Realizing they could not control the crowd which had desroyed the bus in which the Serbs had come with stones and Molotov cocktails, the UN special forces used tear gas in attempt to disperse the crowd.

The drama lasted about two hours after which the Serbs were escorted to the already destroyed bus under strong protection by members of the UN and KFOR. Despite this the Albanians continued to throw stones at the Serbs.

Two Serbs, Milija and Djuro Djuric, were injured. Dusanka Miladinovic, a 65 year-old woman from Osojane, said that during the horrible attack by the Serbs against the Serbs as well as against KFOR and the UNMIK police, two members of the UN police were also injured.

In the general attack by the Albanians, while the Serbs were attempting to evacuate the building and board the destroyed bus, one UN police vehicle was also destroyed. This was confirmed today by Andrea Angeli, the UNMIK spokesman in Pristina, who said that no information on arrests was yet available but that a thorough investigation had been launched.

B. Radomirovic

Blic, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
October 12, 2002

Milena Radosavljevic, trip leader of 50 Serbs brutally attacked in Pec, tells "Blic"

WE BARELY MADE IT OUT ALIVE

KRALJEVO - Milena Radosavljevic of Kraljevo, the trip leader of 50 Serb returnees from Osojane, Tucep and Saljinovica who travelled to Pec two days ago to regulate their pensions and were attacked by Albanian extremists in the center of the city, told us in a telephone interview that the attack was obviously planned.

"The bus, owned by Vukosav Repanovic of Osojane, we used to travel to Pec was escorted by members of Spanish KFOR. In it were 50 Serbs over the age of 65 who were coming to Pec to open accounts for their pensions. While we were in the Bureau, at 11 a.m. several hundred Albanian extremists converged near the bus. They began to throw things at the bus and to toss Molotov cocktails. Stones and bricks were flying from all sides. The attack lasted over two hours and then they tried to set the bus on fire," said Ms. Radosavljevic. In the meanwhile KFOR issued an order for the Serbs to get out of Bureau and to get into the smashed to bus in order to save their lives. While the Serbs were getting into the vehicle the Albanians launched a new attack. Molotov cocktails were falling on the KFOR troops and the police withdrew. However, getting into the bus was only the beginning of the agony of the small group of Serbs.

"Just as we began to move, the KFOR troops and international police responded. The first shots were fired and teargas was tossed into the crowd of extremists. As we were leaving Pec we were again attacked from all sides. Several passengers were injured and the windshields of the bus was shattered," said Ms. Radosavljevic.

When they arrived in Osojane, Ms. Radosavljevic said, they were ordered to park the bus in the Spanish base and KFOR took the keys of the bus from them. "Then the real drama ensued. They chased us off the base and kept us standing for two hours in the rain with rifles pointed at us. They pushed the bus off the base with their armored vehicles, destroying what little of it remained. The Spanish troops mistreated us and only later, frozen and wet from the rain, we were given an escort to Gorazdevac. Only upon arriving in the Italian base did we receive any assistance or sympathy," said Ms. Radosavljevic.


Glas Javnosti, Belgrade, Yugoslavia
October 12, 2002

Aftermath of barbaric attack by Albanians in center of Pec

THREE SERB RETURNEES INJURED

Bus transporting the villagers completely demolished. Siege of building where UNMIK transferred Serbs lasted two hours.

BELGRADE - Three Serb returnees to Metohija sustained noncritical injuries during yesterday's barbaric attack by about 1,000 Albanians in the center of Pec.

"A group of old people from the villages of Osojane, Tucep and Saljiovica near Istok went to Pec two days ago to open accounts on which they would receive their pensions. When they arrived in the center of the city, a group of several hundred Albanians launched a flurry of stones, bricks, bottles and other objects at the old people. The bus in which they were sitting was completed demolished. Djuro, Milos and Milija Djuric sustained noncritical injuries and cuts," Gojko Djuric, one of the returnees to Osojane, told "Glas".

Also injured during the attack were several members of the UNMIK police, who intervened with tear gas and rubber bullets. Members of the peacekeeping forces managed to get the elderly Serbs out of the bus and to transfer them to one of the buildings in the center of Pec. However, the rioting Albanians continued their attack against the building and the siege lasted two full hours. During this period they also attempted to set fire to the bus but were prevented from doing so.

Only after this period did the police manage to disperse the attackers and take the old people to the village. "People are very frightened and disappointed. Life in Osojane, Tucep and Saljiovica is very difficult. The majority of the over 300 returnees lives in in inhuman conditions, under tents or in improvised huts. Winter is coming and we are short on food, clothing, shoes, blankets..." said Gojko Djuric.


The barbaric attack by the Albanians two days ago is only another in a series of attacks on the remaining Serbs and returnees to Kosovo and Metohija. At the end of August a group of Albanians opened fire from automatic weapons on Serbs from the village of Gorazdevac near Pec, the only enclave in this part of Metohija.

At that time six villagers - brothers Zlatko and Vesko Portin, Dragan and Ivan Bogicevic, Ranko Petrovic and Novica Dasic - escorted by three UNMIK policemen came to collect wood from their forest located in the direction of the nearby village of Dobri Do. At almost the same time another attack from automatic weapons was carried out against returnees to Bicha near Klina. In these attacks, fortunately, there were no casualties.

N. Pasic

BOX:

Return was no better


Milena Radosavljevic, the trip leader of the group of 50 returnees to Kosovo and Metohija, claims that it was no better for the group afterwards upon its arrival in the Spanish KFOR base. "The bus, which continued the trip without a single window, was kept in the KFOR base in Osojane; while the driver and co-driver were being questioned, we stood for two hours in the rain with rifles pointed at us," said Ms. Radosavljevic. She believes that the main culprit for this behavior on the part of KFOR was the Bosniac interpreter, whose name she did not manage to get. She added that after the bus was pulled from the base by armored vehicles, it was no longer able to continue the trip.

P.M.




AFP UN police, ethnic Albanians clash in western Kosovo

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia, Oct 10 (AFP) - UN police and NATO troops in Kosovo on Thursday fired tear gas at a crowd of some 600 ethnic Albanians who attacked a group of Serbs they were escorting in western Kosovo, a UN official said.
Several policemen were slightly injured and two police vehicles were damaged, UN spokesman Andrea Angeli said.
Some 50 elderly Serbs from the western Kosovo village of Osojane were escorted by UN police and NATO-led troops of the Kosovo force (KFOR) into Pec to enroll with the UN's pension fund, Angeli said.
"A crowd of people at the entrance of the building threw stones and Molotov cocktails at UN police and KFOR after the Serbs were escorted into the building" in Pec, some 85 kilometers (51 miles) west of Pristina, Angeli said.
"The peacekeepers intervened with tear gas and there was a clash between them and the crowd of people," he said.
Special police units were brought in as reinforcements. After some two hours the group of Serbs was taken into a bus and escorted back to their village.
Some 150 ethnic Serbs returned to the village of Osojane as part of the UN's program of returning minority Serbs that fled the province after the war in Kosovo in 1999.
Albanian-dominated Kosovo came under UN and NATO control in June 1999, after NATO halted a crackdown of Serb forces led by former president Slobodan Milosevic on the independence-minded ethnic Albanian majority in the province.
It is estimated that more than 200,000 Serbs have fled their homes in Kosovo since 1999 in fear of revenge attacks by ethnic Albanians, and only about several hundred refugees have since returned to the province.
More than 80,000 Serbs still live in Kosovo, mainly in enclaves protected by NATO-led forces, with restricted freedom of movement.


Associated Press

NATO, U.N. police clash with ethnic Albanians in Kosovo
Thu Oct 10,12:24 PM ET

PRISTINA, Yugoslavia - A crowd of ethnic Albanians clashed Thursday with U.N. police and NATO (news - web sites)-led peacekeepers who were escorting a group of Serbs in western Kosovo, an official said.

Some 600 hostile ethnic Albanians attacked U.N. police and Italian peacekeepers with stones and molotov cocktails after they brought a group of 50 Serbs to the center of Pec, a town some 80 kilometers (50
kilometers) west of province's capital, Pristina, said Andrea Angeli, a U.N. spokesman.

The Serbs, a group of recently returned refugees from the village of Osojane, were taken by bus to a building in the center of town to enroll in the U.N.-run pension fund, Angeli said.

"Once the Serbs entered the building, the angry crowd attacked the peacekeepers and police," he said. Police responded with tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Two police officers were slightly injured by stones, and some police vehicles were damaged. There was no information whether any of the protesters were injured.

The Serbs managed to leave the building after two hours after the protesters had been dispersed, Angeli said.

The incident came amid increasing efforts undertaken by the U.N. mission in Kosovo to bring back Serbs who fled in the aftermath of the war in the province. Tens of thousands of Serbs fled out of fear of revenge attacks. Dozens have been killed over the past three years.

Widespread violence in Kosovo ended with the pullout of Yugoslav forces in June 1999 during the rule of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic (news - web sites), who now on trial at the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague (news - web sites).


UNMIK Spokesperson: What Happened In Pec Is Disgusting

Prishtina, 11 Oct (Tanjug) - “What happened in Pec on Thursday, is to put it mildly, disgusting, because it is unacceptable for someone to intimidate and attack Serbs at this moments when we are trying to return them”, stated UNMIK Spokesperson Simon Haselock for Tanjug.
He called on UNMIK Police to arrest the perpetrators of the attack on the Serbs from Osojane and the UNMIK Police. Two UNMIK Policemen were injured in the incident.


US Office Condemns Attack


Pristina, Oct 11 (Free Serbia) - US Office in Pristina strongly condemned Thursday’s attack in Pec, estimating it as a “hooligan attempt of using of violence and the tactics of frightening.”
“In Thursday in Pec an unfortunate event occurred. Elderly people, Kosovars of Serbian ethnicity, wanting only to ask questions about their UNMIK pensions, were subjects to hooligan attempt of using the violence and scare tactics,” says Reno Harnish, the Head of US Mission in Pristina, adding that it is a “kind of form of protests against Kosovo situation to return to normal.”
Harnish also stated that US Mission “strongly condemns the interethnic violence” similar to the one happened in Pec. Also, he had expressed the hope that persons responsible for the act will be found out and arrested. “I hope that the municipality leaders, as well as the leaders in Kosovo’s Parliament-all leaders of Kosovo-together with the international community will condemn this event and will offer their cooperation in the finding out and prosecution of the main persons responsible, and they will work together to ensure their citizens that incidents as such are unacceptable”, says Harnish.

Covic: Incident In Pec “Excellent” Message To Serbs

Prishtina, 11 Oct (Tanjug) - On Friday, the Chief of the Coordination Center for Kosmet, Nebojsa Covic strongly condemned the incident in which Albanians were throwing rocks and “Molotov cocktails” at UNMIK Police while they were securing a group of elderly Serbs going from Osojane to Pec.
The attack by six hundred bullies on fifty old men is an “excellent” message for the return of Serbs and other non-Albanians on Kosovo, in the sense of their safety, freedom of movement and guaranties on normal life, and also an “excellent” message for the Serbs to go out and vote on the local elections, said Covic for Tanjug. “This is more than a political scandal, as is the one attempted on Dr. Milan Ivanovic”, added Covic. “Do we want to continue operating as ostriches and stick our heads in the sand, pose in front of news reporters and market some big plans or do we want a realistic approach towards the solving of the problems which are ever-present on Kosovo and Metohija”, Covic asked himself.