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Tuesday, June 15, 1999 Published at 22:24 GMT 23:24 UK


World: Europe

Evidence of mass murder in Koliq

Locals bury Koliq's dead in anonymous graves

By Special Correspondent Ben Brown in Koliq

As Serb troops pull out of Kosovo they leave behind them more evidence of mass murder.


The BBC's Ben Brown: This will go down in history as the Koliq massacre
The latest discovery is of dozens of bodies in the village of Koliq, just north of Pristina.

According to eye witnesses 64 refugees were slaughtered here in April as they tried to flee from Kosovo.

Their burned-out cars and tractors still litter the road for mile after mile.


[ image:  ]
The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) handed us what they say is videotape evidence of what was one of the worst atrocities of the war.

The footage shows fields strewn with abandoned cars and tractors. Possessions and clothing lie scattered over the ground.

According to the KLA, their video shows Koliq not long after the massacre.

The refugees had been told by the Serbs to assemble on the road and wait for buses to take them out of Kosovo.


[ image: Survivors say 64 refugees were shelled or shot dead]
Survivors say 64 refugees were shelled or shot dead
They thought they were on the road to freedom. For some it was the road to death.

According to survivors we spoke to, the Serbian police stopped them and demanded money - and the rules were simple. If you paid up you would live. If you did not, you would die.

Some of the victims were killed by shell fire, most were executed at point blank range with shots to the head.

'I saw my best friend shot'

One man told me he only survived the massacre because his family came up with enough money. His best friend was not so fortunate, he said.


Ben Brown: There are many more such places in Kosovo
''They shot him with a kalashnikov right in front of me. I told the Serbs they were inhuman, they told me I was lucky to be alive,'' he adds.

The dead could only be buried once the Serbs had moved on. The victims were placed in anonymous graves - there was no time for dignity.

For now the KLA tend the graves of those who died in Koliq.

But soon war crime investigators will be be here as well, searching for evidence about an atrocity horrific even by the gruesome standards of Kosovo.



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Internet Links


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