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Tuesday, April 20, 1999 Published at 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK

'Nato faked mass grave'

Nato's evidence: Created by computer, says Serb TV

Serbian television has been showing a video report from the Kosovo village of Izbica, where Nato recently reported sighting a newly-dug mass grave.

Kosovo: Special Report
The TV correspondent spoke to two local Kosovo-Albanians who denied that there were any such graves, and one of whom angrily condemned the "lies" of the American TV company, CNN.

The reporter said that the village was so small and remote that Nato had deliberately picked it out for a false report, in the belief that no-one would travel there to verify its claims.

The reporter argued that Nato's report of up to 150 graves did not tally with the village's population of only 70 people.

The camera showed ploughed fields around the small village, set in rolling hills, which were juxtaposed with aerial photos, which Nato had said showed the new graves.

The reporter suggested the Nato photographs had been created using "computer animation".

'Albanians return to Kosovo'

[ image: Refugees are fleeing Nato bombs, not Yugoslav soliders, says Tanjug]
Refugees are fleeing Nato bombs, not Yugoslav soliders, says Tanjug
The TV has also been showing video of Kosovo-Albanian refugees who, it said, have returned to their home villages in Kosovo's Podujevo region.

According to the Yugoslav state news agency, Tanjug, more than 20,000 refugees earlier "fled before the Nato bombs and in the face of manipulations by the terrorists, carried out under orders of the aggressors".

"Responding to the call of the authorities who guaranteed them safety, the ethnic Albanians ... came in a column along the Pristina-Podujevo road."

Serbian TV and radio news bulletins on Tuesday were again dominated by reports of overnight Nato air attacks, with footage of bomb blasts and ruined buildings.

'TV under threat'

On Monday evening, the TV reported that it was itself again under threat of Nato attack. It broadcast a news conference given by Federal Information Minister Goran Matic to foreign and local journalists in which he appealed to the outside world to safeguard the Serbian media.

"Radio and Television of Serbia [RTS] is being threatened today. They [Nato] are threatening it because they think that the RTS has indoctrinated the foreign press agency correspondents. You know very well that this is not correct."

'Historic church damaged'

[ image: More condemnation of the Nato campaign]
More condemnation of the Nato campaign
Tanjug also reported on Tuesday that Nato had dropped missiles in the vicinity of a 16th Century monastery at Rakovica, in the suburbs of Belgrade. The church with its collection of religious art was badly damaged.

"The cultural heritage of the Serbian people and of other peoples in Yugoslavia, including monuments in Belgrade, has been irretrievably threatened and destroyed in almost month-long bombardments," the agency said in its English-language report.

Tuesday's visit of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Aleksiy II, to Belgrade was widely reported.

Tanjug reported that Aleksiy had arrived in Belgrade to "demonstrate his solidarity with the Serbian people and all Yugoslav peoples that share the tragedy caused by Nato bombings".

Film director condemns Nato

The Nato campaign was condemned by well-known Yugoslav film director, Emir Kusturica, in an interview published on Tuesday by the Bosnian Serb news agency SRNA.

"My standpoint is clear. Serbian is my native language. I believe that Yugoslavia should have been preserved through joint internal and external efforts," Mr Kusturica said.

Nato's air attacks were a "great mistake and tragedy ... after which Europe will not be the same".


Serbian TV has been showing anti-Nato cartoons in between its programmes.

One of these, in English, shows Yugoslavia as a vast cemetery with the words "Bombs Liberate" written above the entrance gate in an echo of the "Labour Liberates" sign above the gates to Nazi death camps. The cartoon is accompanied by the words: "Nato's final solution - stop it".

The people acting as human shields on Serbia's bridges have been displaying a new badge, in addition to the target sign.

This is a small red plastic heart with the initials "PVO", or anti-aircraft defence, written on it. The heart flashes in the dark, as shown on a Serbian TV report on Monday night.

BBC Monitoring based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

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