The deadliest single shell of the Kosovo conflict killed 11 refugees, an ethnic Albanian group said Thursday, while a senior U.S. official pledged to try to mobilize international aid to avert mass refugee deaths this winter.
All those killed by the shell were members of one family, packed on a tractor-trailer heading out of the village of Grape, 15 miles southwest of Pristina, when a grenade exploded Wednesday, according to the Kosovo Albanian Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms.
Serb police foiled an attempt to help refugees Thursday, for the first time turning back a U.N. convoy carrying food and supplies for thousands of refugees west of Pristina, Kosovo's capital.
Assistant Secretary of State Julia Taft toured parts of southwest Kosovo Thursday, stopping at an ethnic Albanian village sheltering some of the estimated 260,000 refugees created by the fighting. She warned of catastrophe unless tens of thousands camping in forests and mountains are sheltered and fed before winter arrives.