754 Victims of NATO Bombing

754 Victims of NATO Bombing

Logo FHPThe Humanitarian Law Center (HLC) and the Humanitarian Law Center Kosovo published in 2014 the list of individuals who died as a consequence of NATO bombing of the Former Republic of Yugoslavia. According to this list, the NATO attacks killed a total of 754 people: 454 civilians and 300 members of the armed forces. 207 civilians were of Serbian and Montenegrin ethnicity, 219 were Albanian, 14 civilians were Roma, and 14 were of other nationalities. From among members of armed forces, a total of 274 members of the VJ/MUP of Serbia and 26 members of the KLA were killed.

On the territory of Serbia, 260 people were killed; in Montenegro, 10; and in Kosovo, 488. Among the fallen members of the VJ/MUP, 108 were younger than 25 years of age—the majority of them soldiers doing regular military service. In Serbia, most of the civilians were killed in Surdulica – 29 of them. In Belgrade, 16 RTS employees were killed; in Nis, 19 civilians; in Aleksinac, 15; and in Grdelicka klisura, 15, when NATO hit a moving train. Among the victims of the NATO bombing in Kosovo, we have listed the 77 ethnic Albanian civilians who were killed in Korisa, when NATO targeted a former military facility where these persons were being held overnight on their way to Albania, on the orders of the Serbian forces; 64 Albanians were killed in Bistrazin while a column of them was moving towards Albania, on the orders of the Serbian forces; and 29 Albanians, 7 Serbs, and 6 members of the VJ who were killed on the bridge in the village of Luzane, while traveling by bus to Pristina.

According to the HLC and HLC-Kosovo data, in the period from March 20 to June 14, 1999, Serbian forces, under the pretext of „defending Serbian territory from NATO aggression and Shiptar terrorists“, killed 6,901 Albanians who were not participating in hostilities. During the same period, the KLA killed 328 Serbian civilians and 136 Roma and other non-Albanians who were not involved in the armed conflict. In the clashes between the VJ/MUP and the KLA, 1,204 members of the KLA were killed and 559 members of the VJ and the MUP of Serbia.

The data clearly show that the leadership of the Republic of Serbia responded to NATO attacks by severe and massive retaliation against the Albanian civilian population—expelling and killing civilians, and burning whole villages and houses. During the NATO attack, in the Gjakova municipality alone, VJ and Serbian MUP units killed 909 Albanian civilians, in Orahovac 577, in Mitrovica 362, in Vucitrn 389, in Pec 496, in Glogovac 640, in Pristina 413, in Prizren 414, in Suva Reka 351, and so on elsewhere. On a single day, April 27, 1999, Serbian forces in the village of Meja killed 349 Albanian villagers, most of whose bodies were found in mass graves at the police training site in Batajnica near Belgrade. More than 260 villagers who were hiding in the forests of Sutice, Vrbovca and Cikatova were killed during a „ survey of the terrain“ on April 30 and May 1, 1999, by members of the VJ’s 37th Motorised Brigade, whose then commander is the present Chief of Staff of the Serbian Army, General Ljubisa Dikovic. In the same period, the KLA killed a total of 328 Serbian civilians and 136 Roma civilians, among them 32 Serbian civilians in Suva Reka, 25 in Djakovica, 22 in Pristina, 4 Orahovac, and 5 in Gnjilane.

Source: The Kosovo Memory Book Database