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Monday, August 16, 1999 Published at 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK

World: Europe

KLA 'revenge attacks' condemned

Roma gypsies ave been expelled from cities and towns across Kosovo

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR says it is increasingly alarmed about revenge attacks suffered by minorities in Kosovo.

The BBC's Orla Guerin reports from Kosovo on the plight of the Roma
Violent attacks against Serbs and Roma gypsies by their Kosovo Albanian neighbours have forced minorities to flee towns and cities across the province.

They have settled in camps as refugees living in squalid, desperate conditions.

Harassment, beatings and intimidation allegedly carried out by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) are being reported on a daily basis by both minorities.

[ image:
"Please don't leave us like this," pleaded this Roma woman
The Kosovo Albanians believe that the gypsies collaborated with the Serbs during the war and have stepped up their revenge attacks in retaliation.

The BBC's Orla Guerin says that the houses where they once lived have been looted and reduced to rubble by Kosovo Albanians.

Kosovo: Special Report
One woman in the Jakova refugee camp pleaded not to be left in such vulnerable conditions despite the fact that Nato is protecting the settlement.

No political will

"The Albanians want to kill us," she cried.

Human rights campaigners are now transcribing testimonies from those who have been victimised by the intimidation.

[ image: Beatings allegedly committed by the KLA are common]
Beatings allegedly committed by the KLA are common
Campaigners criticise foreign governments for turning a blind eye to the plight of the minorities inside Kosovo.

Fred Abrahams of the Human Rights Watch organisation, said: "Generally, the political will to protect these minorities is lacking. There hasn't been enough attention paid to their protection."

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