By GERRY FOLEY
The evidence of the Milosevic government’s attempt to dispose of the bodies of the victims of its mass terror in Kosovo is steadily, if slowly coming to light. It has made enough of an impact on the Serbian media that supporters of Milosevic protesting their hero’s extradition to the Hague court shouted that Serbs “plant bodies in their flower pots,” in a mostly ineffectual attempt to deride the reports of Milosevic’s crimes.
According to the London Times of July 1, investigators in the rump Yugoslavia have already found about seven mass graves, four or five near the headquarters of the “antiterrorist” police unit in the village of Bajanica and two near the village of Petrovo Selo, near Kladovo, a town on the eastern border of Serbia, where a refrigerated truck full of bodies was dumped into the Danube.
Serbian authorities, including the minister of the interior, now say that they expect to find about a thousand bodies in mass graves in that area. In the Serbian press, the facts dribble out slowly.
For example, in its June 29 issue, the Belgrade daily Politika reported that a district judge in Belgrade had announced that 36 bodies had been found in one of the graves near the “antiterrorist” police center, of which 10 were the bodies of children under age seven. The remains of an eight-month-old fetus was also found. The judge noted by their clothing that all the victims were civilians.
Another article in the same issue of Politika reported the findings of a team of forensic experts from the University of Nis who investigated two graves near Petrovo Selo. They found 74 bodies, all men, apparently shot to death.
The Kosovar Albanian human rights organization, the KMDLNJ, estimates that at least 10 percent of those summarily executed in the terror carried out by Milosevic’s forces in the spring of 1999 were children, most of them killed along with their families.