Thursday 23 May 2019

Death squads go door to door `executing' Kosovo intel lectuals

FIVE ethnic Albanian leaders have been killed in cold blood in the latest Serb atrocity in Kosovo, Nato said last night. The military alliance admitted it was racing against time to stop Serbian ethnic cleansing.A Nato spokesman said Fehmi Agani, a member of the Kosovo Albanian delegation to recent Rambouillet peace talks in France, was among those ``executed''. Another was Baton Haxhiu, editor of the main Kosovo Albanian newspaper, Koha Ditore.

He said the killings took place after the ethnic Albanian leaders had attended the funeral of lawyer Bajram Kelmendi, who was shot dead by Serb police along with his two sons on the first night of Nato strikes last Wednesday.

Marcus Tanner writes: Amid the burning wreckage and smashed Albanian shopfronts of the Kosovo capital Pristina, Serbian police and other death squads are reported to be going from house to house on a mission to systematically murder Kosovo's intelligentsia.

Direct reports are hard to substantiate since the Yugoslav authorities have expelled virtually all foreigners from the province.

But the diminishing number of reports, reaching the outside world by e-mail and by the few phone lines still working, point to the planned extermination of all articulate community leaders.

Fehmi Agani was no ``separatist terrorist'', as the Serb regime calls the members of the rebel Kosovo Liberation Army.

He was a close colleague of Ibrahim Rugova, leader of a civilian party, the Democratic League of Kosovo.

Like him, he was a convinced advocate of passive resistance to Serb rule, though he would often ruefully joke that applying Ghandian tactics with the Serbs was a tough job. He was an old man, usually smiling, with a oiled and crinkly white hair and a weather-beaten face.

It is incredible to think of men of Agani's and Rugova's stamp, bookish types in their scarves and threadbare cravates and their endless cigarettes, being dragged out of their homes and murdered by the police. But that is what is happening across Kosovo.

A message from the Kosovo Press Agency listed yesterday's known death toll without elaboration.

``Fehmi Agani, vice president of the Democratic League of Kosovo. Executed in Pristina by the Serbian police.

``Alush Gashi, adviser to Ibrahim Rugova, and a well known human rights activist. Executed by the Serbian police in Pristina.

``Din Mehmeti, prominent Albanian poet. Executed by the Serbian police in Pristina.

``The Serbian police are executing prominent intellectuals in Pristina. They are going from door to door, rounding them up and murdering them one by one,'' it added.

Independent News Service

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