A pro-Albanian group on Sunday disputed allegations that Albanian guerrillas in Kosovo had killed and incinerated the bodies of 22 Serb civilians in the embattled province.
The Board for Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms, based in Kosovo's capital, Pristina, demanded an independent investigation to determine if recently found human remains were those of Kosovo Serbs.Serbian police said Saturday they had discovered a crematory in the southern village of Klecka, where ethnic Albanians allegedly had burned the bodies of at least 22 Serbs.
"The monstrous crime was blamed on members of the Kosovo Liberation Army without first determining the truth first by unbiased, competent experts," the human rights group said.
It hinted that the remains might have been those of Kosovo Albanians killed elsewhere and left in Klecka to cast the rebels in a bad light.
The Serb allegations were the latest in a series of claims of brutality and atrocities by both sides since ethnic Albanians began fighting for an independent Kosovo six months ago.
Serbian police and the Yugoslav army have been trying to crush the independence effort. Albanians outnumber Serbs 9-to-1 in the volatile province in Serbia, the dominant Yugoslav republic.
Hundreds of people have been killed on both sides, and more than 260,000 have been rendered homeless by the fighting.
Western government have threatened to use force against the Serbs to stop the offensive, but have yet to follow through.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright warned the Serbs again during a visit to Bijeljina, Bosnia, saying "there is the potential use of force." She said she would meet in Sarajevo on Monday with Gen. Wesley Clark, the NATO commander.
"Neither the United States nor the European allies can tolerate much longer" what is going on in Kosovo, she said.
The bloodshed continued Sunday. Both Serb and Albanian sources reported a clash in the village of Susica, northwestern Kosovo, where eight ethnic Albanians were killed a day earlier.
The pro-Albanian Kosovo Information Center said Serbian police in armored vehicles on Saturday battled members of the Salihaj family, killing eight men.