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New Kosovo War Victims Report Released

BELGRADE -- The Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) in Belgrade has presented a new report on the dead and missing people from the 1998-99 Kosovo war, RFE/RL's Balkan Service reports.

According to the report, 13,321 individuals were killed, wounded, or went missing in the period from January 1998, when rebel groups fought Yugoslav forces, during the NATO bombing of 1999, and until the arrival of the international peacekeeping mission in December 2000.

The report says the fate of 1,886 individuals is still unknown.

Some 8,000-10,000 of those on the list of war victims were ethnic Albanians, while some 2,000–2,500 were Serbs, Roma, Bosnians, and ethnic Albanians who were loyal to Serbia.

HLC Director Natasa Kandic told RFE/RL that the project is in its final stage and public presentations of the report help the center check all of the data it has collected regarding the number and the names of the war's victims.

She added that family members of the victims are urged to check the accuracy and validity of the report.

Kandic said the center's new census lists the names of an estimated 96-98 percent of all Kosovo war victims.

The HLC's Marijana Toma told RFE/RL that the project is important for war victims and their families and allows them to regain some dignity.

She added that the project is designed to fight against impunity, "a common problem for each postwar society."

The HLC project involved conversations with 1,897 witnesses and family members of the dead and missing. According to those sources, 3,229 people were confirmed killed between January 1998 and December 2000.

The HLC was founded in 1992 as a human rights nongovernmental organization that aimed to document human rights violations across the former Yugoslavia, in armed conflicts in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and later in Kosovo.