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Battle of Belaćevac Mine
Part of Kosovo War
Date June 30, 1998
Location Belaćevac, near Obilić
Result Decisive Yugoslav victory
Belligerents
UCK KLA.png Kosovo Liberation Army  FR Yugoslavia
Commanders
UCK KLA.png Bekim Berisha Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milosevic
Strength
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown


The Battle of Belaćevac Mine (Serbian: Boj na Belaćevac; Albanian: Beteja e Belaqevaqit) was a 1998 battle during the Kosovo War between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the Yugoslav Army over control of a coal mine which powered the nearby generating station which supplied electricity to most of the province.[1]

Contents

KLA capture

On June 22, the Kosovo Liberation Army had captured the mine from Serbian forces, capturing nine workers, Dušan Ađančić, Pero Ađančić, Zoran Ađančić, Mirko Buha, Filip Gojković, Božidar Lempić, Srboljub Savić, Mirko Trifunović and Dragan Vukmirović.[2] While one worker, Nebojša Janković, claimed the prisoners had been executed, there was no independent verification.[3]

Among the attackers were Mensur Kasumi (b. June 25, 1966 in Skocna, Vuchitrn), who was later appointed Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs within Kosovo,[4] and Arif "Mujo" Krasniqi (b. April 9, 1971 in Sibovac, Obilic), who was involved in the later capture of Jarko Spasic on May 14.[4]

The army used the mine as a staging area for its operations,[2] and taunted the Serbians by sending daylight patrols within sight of the nearby villages.[1]

Serbian re-capture

On the morning of June 30, the VJ launched an offensive into that area of Kosovo, and while some fighters withdrew, those remaining in the mining buildings opened fire on the police around 14:00 in the afternoon.[5]

Its police forces, with the help of more than 140 military vehicles including helicopters, tanks and artillery,[1] regained control of Belaćevac Mine, as most of the Kosovo forces escaped the area.[6]

The region was largely deserted by civilians following the re-capture.[7]

Aftermath

In 1999, the Serbians withdrew from the mine, leading to an immediate re-capture by the KLA.[8]

Eleven years after the battle, the Association of the Families of Kidnapped and Missing Miners of Belaćevac set up a demonstration in the region demanding answers about the fate of the workers captured in the initial Kosovo capture of the mine.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b c The Independent New offensive dashes ceasefire hope, June 30, 1998
  2. ^ a b Human Rights Watch, "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo",1998. p. 81.
  3. ^ Walker, Tom. London Times, "Guerrillas in Kosovo 'killed mine hostages', July 2, 1998
  4. ^ a b Serbianna, Kosovo's 156 Lawless
  5. ^ Hellenic Resources Network, Yugoslav Daily Survey, June 30, 1998
  6. ^ Radio Free Europe, Serbia claims success in Belacevac offensive, June 30, 1998
  7. ^ National Public Radio, All Things Considered: Kosovo, July 1, 1998
  8. ^ Hughes, Candice. Associated Press, "KLA captures Mine, Hostages near Pristina", June 13, 1998
  9. ^ Radio Srbija, A gathering in Gracanica in memory of Serbs kidnapped in Kosmet 11 years ago, June 22, 2009
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Battle of Belaćevac Mine
Part of Kosovo War
Date June 30, 1998
Location Belaćevac, near Obilić
Result Serbian victory
Belligerents
KLA  FR Yugoslavia
Commanders
Bekim Berisha Slobodan Milosevic
Strength
Unknown Unknown
Casualties and losses
June 30 - 3 Killed, 7 wounded Unknown

The Battle of Belaćevac Mine (Serbian: Boj na Belaćevac; Albanian: Beteja e Belaqevaqit) was a 1998 battle during the Kosovo War between the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) and the Yugoslav Army over control of a coal mine which powered the nearby generating station which supplied electricity to most of the province.[1]

Contents

KLA capture

On June 22, the Kosovo Liberation Army had captured the mine from Serbian forces, capturing nine workers, Dušan Ađančić, Pero Ađančić, Zoran Ađančić, Mirko Buha, Filip Gojković, Božidar Lempić, Srboljub Savić, Mirko Trifunović and Dragan Vukmirović.[2] While one worker, Nebojša Janković, claimed the prisoners had been executed, there was no independent verification.[3]

Among the attackers were Mensur Ferit Kasumi (b. June 25, 1966 in Skocna, Vuchitrn), who was later appointed Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs within Kosovo,[4] and Arif "Mujo" Qamil Krasniqi (b. April 9, 1971 in Sibovac, Obilic), who was involved in the later capture of Jarko Spasic on May 14.[4]

The army used the mine as a staging area for its operations,[2] and taunted the Serbians by sending daylight patrols within sight of the nearby villages.[1]

Serbian re-capture

On the morning of June 30, the VJ launched an offensive into that area of Kosovo, and while some fighters withdrew, those remaining in the mining buildings opened fire on the police around 14:00 in the afternoon.[5]

Its police forces, with the help of more than 140 military vehicles including helicopters, tanks and artillery,[1] regained control of Belaćevac Mine, as most of the Kosovo forces escaped the area.[6]

The region was largely deserted by civilians following the re-capture.[7]

Aftermath

In 1999, the Serbians withdrew from the mine, leading to an immediate re-capture by the KLA.[8]

Eleven years after the battle, the Association of the Families of Kidnapped and Missing Miners of Belaćevac set up a demonstration in the region demanding answers about the fate of the workers captured in the initial Kosovo capture of the mine.[9]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Independent New offensive dashes ceasefire hope, June 30, 1998
  2. 2.0 2.1 Human Rights Watch, "Humanitarian Law Violations in Kosovo",1998. p. 81.
  3. Walker, Tom. London Times, "Guerrillas in Kosovo 'killed mine hostages', July 2, 1998
  4. 4.0 4.1 Serbianna, Kosovo's 156 Lawless
  5. Hellenic Resources Network, Yugoslav Daily Survey, June 30, 1998
  6. Radio Free Europe, Serbia claims success in Belacevac offensive, June 30, 1998
  7. National Public Radio, All Things Considered: Kosovo, July 1, 1998
  8. Hughes, Candice. Associated Press, "KLA captures Mine, Hostages near Pristina", June 13, 1998
  9. Radio Srbija, A gathering in Gracanica in memory of Serbs kidnapped in Kosmet 11 years ago, June 22, 2009

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