New York/Belgrade, 27 July 1999 (RFE/RL) - The UN Security Council late last night strongly condemned the "criminal" killing of 14 Serbian farmers in Kosovo. The Council called for a speedy investigation to bring those responsible to justice. Malaysia's UN Ambassador Agam Hasmy, the current council president, said members were "deeply shocked and gravely concerned" over the incident on Friday near the village of Gracko.
Hasmy said council members supported the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and KFOR -- the NATO-led peacekeeping force -- "in their efforts to ensure peace and security for all inhabitants of Kosovo."
Yugoslavia had requested that the Security Council "urgently" convene a meeting to adopt measures that would protect Serbs in Kosovo. Vladislav Jovanovic, Yugoslavia's UN envoy, said in a letter that the killing of the Serbs was the "last and most ruthless so far in a series of atrocities" he blamed on the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK). Serbs in the village also accuse the UCK, but its political leader, Hashim Thaci, has condemned the killings and denied the charges. Funerals for the 14 Serbs, due to be buried yesterday, were postponed to allow time for autopsies.