Velika Kruša massacre

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Coordinates: 42°19′N 20°38′E / 42.317°N 20.633°E / 42.317; 20.633

Velika Kruša massacre
Location Velika Kruša, near Orahovac, Kosovo, FR Yugoslavia
Date 25 March 1999
in the Afternoon (Central European Time)
Target Kosovo Albanian men
Attack type
Mass Killing
Deaths 90[1] - 105 men killed[2]
Perpetrators Serbian special police

The Velika Kruša massacre (Albanian: Masakra e Krushës së Madhe, Serbian: Masakr u Velikoj Kruši) near Orahovac, Kosovo, took place during the Kosovo War on the afternoon of 25 March 1999, the day after the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia began.

According to ethnic Albanian witnesses, a special police unit entered the village and separated the men and boys, and killed them.[3] Human Right Watch reported that more than 90 men were killed.[1][4] Then, the women and children were forced out.

War crime trials[edit]

The massacre at Velika Kruša became a part of war crimes Indictment against Slobodan Milošević and other Serbian political and military leaders:

On or about 25 March 1999, the villages of Velika Kruša and Mala Kruša/Krushe e Madhe and Krushe e Vogel were attacked by forces of the FRY and Serbia.

Village residents took refuge in a forested area outside Velika Kruša/Krushe e Madhe, where they were able to observe the police systematically looting and then burning the villagers' houses.

On or about the morning of 26 March 1999, Serb police located the villagers in the forest.

The police ordered the women and small children to leave the area and to go to Albania. The police then searched the men and boys and took their identity documents, after which they were made to walk to an uninhabited house between the forest and Mala Kruša/Krushe e Vogel.

Once the men and boys were assembled inside the house, the police opened fire on the group.

After several minutes of gunfire, the police piled hay on the men and boys and set fire to it in order to burn the bodies. As a result of the shootings and the fire, approximately 105 Kosovo Albanian men and boys were killed by the Serb police.[2]

— War Crimes Indictment against Milošević and others

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