Accessibility links

Yugoslavia: NATO Investigating Alleged Killing Of 50 Kosovo Civilians

  • Ben Partridge

London, 14 May 1999 (RFE/RL) -- NATO is currently investigating claims in the Serb media that 50 civilians have been killed by an Alliance air strike in a village near Prizren in Kosovo.

But British Under Secretary of Defense John Spellar told a press briefing in London today that for the moment he had no further information on the matter.

Spellar said that over the past 24 hours NATO pilots have taken advantage of improved weather conditions to step up attacks on Serb military targets in Kosovo.

He said that, after more than seven weeks of air strikes, the forces of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic are in what he called a "military unsustainable" position.

At the same briefing, British Rear Admiral Simon Moore described NATO's operations in the past 24 hours as "intensive." Moore said:

"Air attacks were launched on Serb ground forces near Prizren in Kosovo, and in the Stimle area [of Kosovo]. Tanks, military vehicles, armored personnel carriers, mortars, and other fielded forces were all targeted. NATO aircraft also successfully attacked border posts, radar installations, airfields, and military buildings in Kosovo and in Serbia."

Moore also said that British planes had struck a road bridge, an airfield at Pristina and troops and vehicles on the ground. He noted, too, that NATO troops are beginning the construction of additional refugee camps in Albania for many of the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees who have fled what Alliance officials call Serb ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.