12 July 2007

In Memoriam - Nis Express Massacre, Feb 16 2001

In Memoriam - six years after the Nis Express Massacre

KIM Info-service, 17. February 2007

Today's edition of our KIM-info Newsletter we devote to the victims of the "Nis Express Massacre" which happened five years ago, on February 16, 2001, near Podujevo. This heinous crime, one of the worst of its kind in post-war Kosovo has never been fully investigated by UNMIK police and KFOR and its perpetrators have not been brought to justice for this crime until now. One of the suspects, a Kosovo Albanian former UCK millitant Florim Ejupi, a member of a terrorist organization ANA(Albanian National Army - AKSH), managed to ran away from the US Millitary Detention facility at Camp Bondsteel in Eastern Kosovo under very mysterious circumstances.

In the bomb attack on Serb pilgrims heading to participate in a religious ceremony in Gracanica one entire buss was torn into pieces. The final death score was 12 dead Serbs and 40 wounded, some of them women and children. The survivers in the bus graphically described shocking scenes of human joints hanging around in the charred buss shell. Pieces of human bodies could be found dozens of meters around. The terrorists placed large quantities of explosives under a little bridge in an exclusively Albanian inhabited part of Podujevo municipality in order to blow up a Serb bus which was travelling in a convoy escorted by Swedish KFOR. The explosives were activated from a safe distance.

Regrettably, this crime as well as other major ethnic crimes against Kosovo Serbs under UN protectorate in Kosovo, remains uninvestigated - "Harvest massacre" in Staro Gracko in summer 1999, "River massacre of Gorazdevac children" in summer 2003, "Massacre of the Stolic family" in Obilic in 2003 and others. Several hundreds of Kosovo Serbs were killed in a series of systematic ethnic violence which culminated with the March riots 2004. Hundreds were kidnapped by UCK and many of their bodies have been recovered from mass graves around Kosovo.

Praying for the blessed repose of victims of this and other terrorist attacks we remember the words of the former NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson who said on the occasion of the "Bus massacre" - "Nato did not conduct its air campaign in order to see ethnic cleansing by one group replaced by the ethnic attacks and intimidation of another."

The wish of the Kosovo Serb people remains that terrible crimes of the war and not less terrible crimes of the post-war period are finally replaced by tolerance and safety of all Kosovo communities.

The names of killed Serbs in the bomb attack:

1. STOJANOVIĆ NENAD (born 7. July 1943) Nis,
2. KRAGOVIĆ MILINKO (born 5. January 1943),
3. LAZAR MILIKIĆ (born 19. June, 1936) Lipljan,
4. DRAGAN VUKOTIĆ (born 2. November, 1954) Kosovo Polje
6. SNEŽANA COKIĆ VUKOTIC, (born 16. February, 1975), Lipljan
7. DANILO COKIĆ (born in 1999), two old child, the son of Dragan Vukotic and Snezana Cokic Vukotic
8. MIRJANA DRAGOVIĆ (born 12. January, 1981) Laplje Selo
9. SUNČICA PEJČIĆ (born 14. January, 1972) Pristina
10.TIHOMIR STOJKOVIĆ (born 18. January, 1969) Kosovska Kamenica
11. ŽIVANA TOKIĆ (born 5. May, 1948) Skulanevo Pristina, died 10 days later due to the wounds
12.N. TOKIĆ – Zivana's husband, died two months later due to the injuries in the bomb attack


KIM Info-service has made availabe a photo gallery with photos of the attacked bus. Caution! Some of the photos are of very graphic content.