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World - Europe

KLA accused of terrorizing Serb monastery in Kosovo

Shattered icons hang on the walls of the monastery reportedly ransacked by KLA fighters  

June 17, 1999
Web posted at: 9:21 p.m. EDT (0121 GMT)

SRBICA, Yugoslavia (CNN) -- French peacekeepers stood guard Thursday outside a Serbian Orthodox monastery, following reports that a band of Kosovo Liberation Army fighters had ransacked the site near Srbica and terrorized its clergy for days.

The incident is regarded as one of the most serious assaults by the KLA since NATO peacekeeping troops were deployed in Kosovo and could hurt attempts to convince Serb civilians that they would be protected by NATO forces.

A French soldier told CNN that KLA members occupied the 15th-century Devic monastery, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of the Kosovo provincial capital, Pristina, from Sunday to Wednesday, robbing its priest and nine nuns and stealing two cars and all the monastery's food.

Assault rifles were fired next to the heads of the priest and nuns to terrorize them, the soldier said. Numerous shell casings were found in the courtyard.

One nun was stripped naked and taken into a back room by KLA members, he said. When French soldiers found her, she was hysterical and traumatized.

When asked if the woman had been raped, the French soldier said, "What do you think?"

French troops surrounded the monastery, maintaining a 24-hour guard. KLA forces attempting to return to the monastery fled when they saw the French contingent, the soldier said.

Correspondent Jim Clancy contributed to this report.

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  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from

  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis

Resettlement Agencies Helping Kosovars in U.S.:
  • Church World Service
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries
  • Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society
  • Iowa Department of Human Services
  • International Rescue Committee
  • Immigration and Refugee Services of America
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
  • United States Catholic Conference

  • World Relief
  • Doctors without borders
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International

  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis

  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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