CEOL - KFOR Serb Death Toll Figures Are Too Low Say Kosovo Serbs

BELGRADE, Nov 13, 1999 -- (AFP) The Kosovo Serb National Council has said more Serbs were killed or kidnapped in Kosovo than figures given by the NATO-led peacekeeping forces in the province (KFOR) suggest, Belgrade media reported Friday.

The Council, established in October by Kosovo Serbs opposed to the regime of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, accused KFOR of spreading "misinformation" over the Serb victims in the province since its deployment in mid-June.

According to a statement from the Council, 357 Serbs were killed and 450 kidnapped in Kosovo from June 12 -- the date KFOR troops moved into Kosovo -- to September 1.

The Council said that it believed the number of Serbs killed in Kosovo since June 12 could reach 500.

That was in contrast to figures from KFOR officials who said 135 Serbs were killed in Kosovo, out of total of 379 people killed, while 43 Serbs were kidnapped, out of total of 137.

The Council protest said KFOR was giving "false information in a bid to justify the failure of international peace forces."

It has also accused KFOR and the UN civilian mission in Kosovo of failing to provide adequate security for the remaining Serb minority and other non-Albanian citizens in Kosovo, thus violating the mandate given to them by the UN Security Council resolution that ended the conflict in the province.

The Council's statement was signed by its leaders, Kosovo's Orthodox Bishop Artemije and Momcilo Trajkovic, head of the Serbian Resistance Movement, two opponents of Milosevic's policy for the province.

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