Tuesday, January 19, 1999 Published at 19:53 GMT
Massacre in Kosovo
Bodies found in a ditch
The bodies of more than 40 ethnic Albanians have been found at the site of recent fighting in southern Kosovo, in what appears to have been a mass execution.
Witnesses from the village say the men were rounded up by Serbian policemen on Friday night, apparently for questioning but were later shot.
The Serb authorities later issued a statement suggesting the bodies are those of armed rebels killed in combat.
"In the exchange of fire tens of terrorists were killed, most of whom were in uniforms with the insignia of the KLA," it said.
The killings have sparked outrage from the European community. British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook condemned the "savage" murder, but urged both sides to resist a further escalation of violence.
The BBC's correspondent in Kosovo, Jacky Rowland, has been to Racak, about 25km (16 miles) south of the Kosovo capital Pristina where she saw the bodies of at least 30 men lying in a ditch above the village.
William Walker, who is leading the OSCE mission, said: "To see bodies like this without faces, blown away by what was obviously arms held close to the head, I think I need few more minutes to determine what I really should say."
Asked who had committed the crime, Walker said that the villagers told the OSCE officials "it was the Serbian police."
In October, Yugoslavia agreed to allow a 2,000-strong monitoring force of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe into Kosovo to ensure it complied with UN demands.
This eleventh-hour compliance by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic averted the immediate prospect of Nato airstrikes.
The OSCE has since scaled down its operation to 1,400 observers.
On Friday, an unarmed British OSCE monitor or 'verifier' and his Serb interpreter were shot and wounded in a clash between Serb and ethnic Albanian forces in the west of the Serbian province of Pristina.
The OSCE said their personnel, who were travelling in clearly marked vehicles, had been "targeted."
The ethnic Albanian rebel movement began to mobilise after 1988, when President Milosevic withdrew Kosovo's autonomy.