Accessed 06 June 2000

Kosovo leaders, Kouchner, strongly condemn drive-by murder of three Serbs, including 4-year old child

MAY 30 -- The murder late Sunday of three Serbs, one of them a four-year old boy, in a village in south-east Kosovo, was strongly condemned today by the Interim Administrative Council (IAC), the territory's highest policy-making body. Earlier, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, the head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), expressing his revulsion at the murder "in cold blood", said the crime would not go unpunished.

The victims, Miki Petrovic, age four, and two men were killed during a drive-by shooting in Cernica, a village south of Gnjilane. Two other Serbs were seriously injured in the incident, which happened at around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The IAC, which includes representatives of all Kosovo's ethnic groups, in its statement urged the people of Kosovo to help UNMIK police and the international security force, KFOR, in their investigation. UNMIK police have already identified a suspect, a Kosovar Albanian, a UN spokeswoman later confirmed.

Dr. Kouchner said that the murders in Cernica, south of Gnjilane, followed a series of attacks on Serbs in the last few days. He said that the only conceivable winners in this "disgusting form of extremism," were the regime in Belgrade whose aim is the withdrawal of UNMIK and KFOR and the destabilization of Kosovo.

The shooting follows a series of recent attacks on Serbs. Strongly condemning "these outrageous acts," Dr. Kouchner, in a statement issued yesterday, warned that such "despicable crimes are well-received by those who want to see UNMIK and KFOR leave Kosovo and who want instability to remain." "I can assure you: we are not leaving," he said, promising to continue to fight for justice, tolerance and peaceful co-existence in Kosovo.

Also on Sunday, one person was injured in two hand grenade attacks on Serbian homes in Obilic, west of Pristina. Two other grenade attacks had occurred earlier on Saturday in the same town. Four Serbs were also injured in a grenade attack on Friday in Kosovo Polje. In addition, three suspects were arrested by KFOR and handed over to UNMIK police after a Molotov cocktail was thrown into a Serb house in Orahovac, in south-west Kosovo.

Document compiled by Dr S D Stein
Last update 06/06/2000
ęS D Stein

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