Serb cemetery desecrated in Kosovo

Published on June 20, 2006, Associated Press

Category: Violence Against Christian Serbs and Their Holy Places

Vandals have damaged tombstones in a Serb cemetery in central Kosovo, police and a Serb government center said Tuesday.

Sixteen graveside monuments were damaged in the Serb village of Staro Gracko, 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of the province's capital, Pristina, said police spokesman Veton Elshani.

Police were at the scene investigating. Elshani said it was not clear when the damage was done.

But a Serb government-run center in Kosovo, quoting local Serb representatives, said a group got into the cemetery early Tuesday and vandalized the monuments, leaving behind broken crosses, benches and pots for flowers and candles.

Kosovo has been run by a United Nations mission since 1999, when a NATO air war halted Serb forces' crackdown on independence-seeking ethnic Albanians.

U.N.-brokered talks will determine whether Kosovo will become an independent state, as the ethnic Albanians demand, or remain attached to Serbia, as the province's minority Serbs insist.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press


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