FBI probe finds evidence of executions in Kosovo
June 29, 1999
From Producer Terry Frieden
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- An FBI investigation of suspected war crimes sites in Kosovo has revealed evidence that several Kosovar Albanians were executed at two locations in the Serbian province, officials said Tuesday.
More than 50 FBI agents and support personnel traveled to Kosovo to help investigate allegations that Yugoslav forces massacred hundreds, perhaps thousands, of ethnic Albanians.
The FBI said four doctors and a forensic anthropologist from the Armed Forces Institute for Pathology conducted autopsies of victims in two sites in Djakovica, in southwestern Kosovo, revealing that many victims were killed execution-style.
"Preliminary autopsy reports indicate that many of them died from shot wounds to the head," on-scene FBI commander Roger Nisley said. "The victims included men, women and children."
Shell casings and other evidence collected at crime scenes are being brought back to the FBI laboratory for analysis.
The results of the lab tests will be forwarded to the international war crimes tribunal in the Hague, which has indicted Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic and four other senior Yugoslav officials.
In addition to the two sites in Djakovica, FBI sources said the investigators examined six other locations in the Italian-patrolled sector of southwestern Kosovo.
U.S. officials declined to comment on the evidence collected at the other sites.
"All I can say is the FBI was sent to these other locations because the international tribunal believed they were important and urgent," said one government official.
Despite security threats and tampering of the alleged crime scenes by withdrawing Yugoslav forces, the FBI expressed satisfaction on the outcome of the probe.
"We believe this team effort will lead to successful prosecutions of those responsible for atrocities committed by Serbian forces," Nisley said.
The FBI contingent is due to leave Kosovo on Thursday and will likely arrive back in the United States over the weekend.
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Federal Bureau of Investigation
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