Victorious Croats 'Burned Villages'
by Julian Borger
Reprinted from (London) Guardian, 19 August 1995
Comment by Jared Israel
[4 April 2006]
The Guardian newspaper has been one of the
worst offenders in publishing misinformation about the breakup of
Yugoslavia, helping to indoctrinate the British Left to view the Serbs
as the 'new Nazis' and helping to create the Left perception of Islam as the new
But apparently the invasion of Serbian
Krajina was too much even for the Guardian, which published the
following account. It hints at the enormity of this attack, which
drove at least a quarter of a million people from their homes, killing unknown
-- Jared Israel
Editor, Emperor's Clothes
Nations said yesterday that it had found evidence of mass graves and of
execution-style killings in the Krajina region of Croatia carried out
days after government forces crushed the Serb separatist insurgency
Human rights agencies say that they too have found bodies of civilians
in ransacked villages, and that Serbian settlements which survived the
government offensive are now being systematically burned, apparently by
The discoveries contradict Croatia's description of Operation Storm, on
July 4-7, as a "clean" and relatively bloodless military offensive.
Rebel fighters and civilians were initially reported to have fled their
villages before the first government troops arrived.
Chris Gunness, a UN spokesman in Zagreb, said that UN monitors had found
evidence of a possible mass grave in Knin, the abandoned "capital" of
the former breakaway republic.
"(They) discovered 96 crosses that have been placed in opposite sides of
four raised flat-top mounds. The crosses are very close to one another
and there are no individual mounds. Fewer than 20 crosses bear names.
Despite the authorities' evident effort in preparing the site, the area
gives the impression of a mass grave."
He said that when UN civilian police tried to investigate another
suspected site, in the nearby village of Zvjerinac, they found 22 new
graves, some marked with crosses, only five with names. The police were
forced by sniper fire to abandon the investigation.
UN investigators have also found bodies in Krajina which showed signs of
having been executed. Mr Gunness said that on Wednesday, UN personnel
found four corpses in the village of Zagrovic, near Knin.
"Two of the bodies, both men, were in a gully by the side of the main
highway. Marks on the road indicated that they had been dragged to the
spots from the other side. Both men had bullet holes in their heads," Mr
"They were dressed in underwear and T-shirts. One was wearing slippers.
Several fingers had been cut off."
Two bodies were found nearby, one shot in the head, the other too badly
decomposed to determine cause of death. UN civilian police found three
more corpses in civilian clothes in Zvjerinac.
Bogdan Denic, director of the human rights group Transition to
Democracy, said that Croatian soldiers returning from Krajina reported
seeing bodies of civilians, apparently shot by other soldiers.
"There are signs of summary executions, mostly around Knin. One of the
soldiers saw bodies of mostly elderly people lying in the street," Mr
He said that many formerly Serb villages which survived the initial
Croatian assault were being set on fire by troops.
"There's massive burning, and the police are standing by and not doing
anything," he said, adding that the burning was systematic,
contradicting Croatian government claims that it wanted Serb refugees to
return to Krajina.
"They're doing everything they can to prevent that sort of thing
happening. This is a question of individual revenge, but it's also a way
of ensuring there's no chance at all of people returning."
Monitors from the Helsinki Federation for Human Rights have seen
large-scale burning of abandoned Serb houses in Krajina. The UN has also
repeated reported looting by Croatian troops.
President Tudjman yesterday denied the allegations.
"The Croatian army has not looted or burned anywhere," he told
journalists yesterday. He insisted that the Krajina Serbs had left "of
their own free will, despite our invitation to remain".
He hinted that Serb property would be handed over to Croatians driven
out of their homes during the 1991 conflict with Serbia, saying Serb
"homes and estates would have to be reintegrated into our economic
system. We still lack proper accomodation for 200,000 Croatian displaced
The UN and human rights workers say they are being given only limited
access to captured villages and towns.
Mr Gunness said: "Until we have full access to Sector South (the area
around Knin near the Adriatic coast), the dirtiness and the ugliness of
this war will be difficult to assess."
--VICTORIOUS CROATS 'BURNED VILLAGES' Julian Borger hears accounts
of troops razing houses to prevent refugees going back home, The
Guardian (London), August 19, 1995, THE GUARDIAN FOREIGN PAGE; Pg.
10, 1267 words, Julian Borge
1995 Guardian Newspapers Limited
Posted here for Fair Use Only
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