Kosovo villagers say Yugoslav army diary details massacre
July 16, 1999
GODEN, Kosovo (CNN) -- Bullet-riddled walls and charred bone fragments and clothing attest to a mass killing believed to have taken place in a burned house in Kosovo, one of many such sites scattered across the province.
Proving the killings were part of a planned campaign by Yugoslav forces requires painstaking forensic analysis by war crimes investigators.
But in Goden, villagers say they have the documents to prove the Yugoslav army supervised the eviction of ethnic Albanians from the village and the execution of 20 men.
Immediately after NATO began its bombing campaign, Goden residents say the Yugoslav army forced them from their homes.
"Then they said, 'We will execute you all,'" said one villager, named Hurat. "But then they separated out 20 of the men. The rest went up the hill."
The survivors went to Albania and never saw the 20 others again.
But when they returned to Goden after Yugoslav troops withdrew from Kosovo, they said they found evidence that the missing men were murdered.
Villagers gave the Kosovo Liberation Army a diary kept by a Yugoslav army officer. The entry for March 25 seems to confirm their worst fears.
It reads: "7 soldiers took part in the cleansing of Goden ... they used 222 7.62 mm rounds."
Xheudet, whose brother and cousins are among the 20 missing men, is using the diary to make a list of those he thinks are responsible for the killings.
He calls the Yugoslav army a "criminal army" and says those who committed crimes should be sent to the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague. But, he adds, they should be punished by Kosovar Albanians first.
For Xheudet and the other villagers in Goden, the diary helps confirm the hints of a massacre that litter the ruins of the charred house. But in their hearts, judgment has already been passed.
War crimes prosecutor gets firsthand look at mass grave site
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