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Saturday, August 7, 1999 Published at 18:43 GMT 19:43 UK


Albanian TV accuses K-For of 'barbarism'

An Albanian TV correspondent in Kosovo has said French troops from the K-For peacekeeping force "physically maltreated" Kosovo Albanians attempting to return to their homes in the northern town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

Many of the victims, who included Kosovo Liberation Army members, needed hospital treatment.

The correspondent added that such cases were being reported daily.

The following is the text of the correspondent's report from the scene, broadcast by Albanian TV on Saturday:

In Mitrovice today, the members of the French peacekeeping forces, who unfortunately came to the most sensitive point in Kosova, in Mitrovice, physically maltreated in the most barbaric way many Albanians, regardless of age and gender.

This was done for no reason at all, just because the Albanians attempted to cross the bridge on the Iber river and settle in their dwellings from which they were violently evicted five months ago by the Serbian military, paramilitary and police forces, who are currently being loyally substituted for by the French army and police.

Among the many wounded who were forced to seek medical assistance and who were taken to the hospital, we can name 42-year-old Pesire Sejdiu, 44-year-old Veton Hamdi Baruti, 18-year-old Musa Tahiri, 22-year-old Sami Sadiku, 36-year-old Naser Palloqi, 24-year-old Hamdi Seremeti, 38-year-old Sherif Merolli, 33-year-old Agron Avdyli, 28-year-old Afrim Arifi, 32-year-old Hajrulla Sheremeti, 51-year-old Ramadan Istrefi, and many others who were kicked in the genitals by the French soldiers.

Such cases in Mitrovice are reported daily, and it is precisely the French force that has divided the town in half.

Nowadays, many of the French soldiers greet the Albanians with three fingers.

Several members of the Kosova Liberation Army of were also maltreated.

Source: Albanian TV, Tirana, in Albanian 1635 GMT 7 August 99

BBC Monitoring (http://www.monitor.bbc.co.uk), 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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