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January/February 1999: Racak and Rambouillet

UCK (KLA) fighters
UCK (KLA) fighters. Photo: Glas Javnosti

Kosovo was a province of Serbia inhabited by 1.8 million Kosovar Albanians and 190,000 Kosovar Serbs. After an eight-year non-violent movement, ethnic Albanian rebels took to arms. Their guerrilla force was called the Kosovo Liberation Army, or KLA.

On January 19, 1999, after skirmishes all week with the KLA in the vicinity, Serb forces entered the village of Racak and murdered 45 Kosovar Albanian civilians. An atrocity like that at Racak, all too reminiscent of the atrocities in Bosnia, was exactly what the West feared most

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