May 29, 2000 Cernica
PRISTINA, Yugoslavia -- An attacker opened fire on a group of Serbs gathered in a store in an eastern Kosovo village patrolled by U.S. soldiers, killing a 4-year-old boy and two men, NATO peacekeepers said Monday.
Two men injured in Sunday's attack in Cernica were being treated at a U.S. military hospital at Camp Bondsteel, said Capt. Russell Berg, spokesman for American forces stationed in Kosovo. An ethnic Albanian suspect remained at large, he said.The attacker used an automatic weapon to kill Milos Petrovic, 4, his grandfather, Vojin Vasic, 60, and Tihomir Simjanovic, 45, said Lt. Scott Olson, spokesman for U.S. forces at nearby Camp Monteith.
The village 28 miles southeast of the capital, Pristina, is patrolled by U.S. peacekeepers who were only a few hundred yards away, Olson said.
"They heard the gunfire and ran in that direction," he said.
The soldiers evacuated the wounded to a hilltop near the local Serbian Orthodox Church so a helicopter could land and ferry them to the hospital. The three died before the helicopter arrived, Olson said.
The top U.N. official in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, immediately denounced the attack, insisting that only the regime of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic stands to gain by unrest in this southern Serb province.
"What can possibly be gained by killing a child?" he said in a prepared statement.
Quoting Serb sources in the province, the Belgrade-based independent Beta news agency said the suspect was an ethnic Albanian and reported he had bragged earlier about killing two other people in Cernica.
NATO declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
About 600 villagers -- almost all those in Cernica -- attended the burial of the three Monday evening, the Serbian news agency Beta said.
Text on the tombstone:
A quiet testimony... One photo tells a thousand words:
Children, take a stop and look at me, i was so young when killed for no reason''.
''Децо станите и погледајте ме ја тако мали, а зашто сам убијен'' ? !
Поделите слику да се зна!