Shelling near a former stronghold of Kosovo's ethnic Albanian rebels killed 16 people, Albanian civilians told U.N. aid workers Friday.
Residents of Senik, near the former rebel base of Malisevo, told staffers of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees that 16 people died in shelling Thursday, according to UNHCR spokesman Fernando del Mundo.Del Mundo said workers for the refugee agency saw eight bodies, including an infant and a 4-year-old boy.
The months of fighting pitting the Kosovo Liberation Army against an alliance of Serbian police and Yugoslav army troops have left about 265,000 people homeless.
The KLA is fighting for independence for Kosovo, whose population is 90 percent Albanian. Kosovo is a province of Serbia, the dominant republic of Yugoslavia.
In Guncat, 6 miles east of Malisevo, a 75-year-old villager was killed by a sniper, del Mundo said. About 10,000 refugees from 35 villages were crowded into Guncat, which normally has about 1,500 residents. All were lacking food and other necessities, he said.
An Albanian source, meanwhile, said that government troops killed three members of a Kosovo Albanian family and wounded two more Thursday as they fled fighting southwest of Pristina, the provincial capital.
Elsewhere, Serb police retrieved the bones of 10 Serb civilians whom officials said the KLA executed a month ago in their former mountaintop base, which government forces overran Thursday.