PREKAZ, Kosovo (AP) — Hundreds of Kosovo ethnic Albanians have gathered in a western town to celebrate the Night of Fires, the launch of the armed resistance to late Serbian Slobodan Milosevic’s regime 20 years ago.
People holding lit torches assembled Wednesday evening in Prekaz, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the capital, Pristina, where Adem Jashari, a national hero, and his 52 family members were killed by Serb army and paramilitary forces.
Kosovo’s 1998-1999 armed resistance ended after a 78-day airstrike campaign from NATO against Serbia to stop a bloody crackdown against ethnic Albanians.
Milosevic’s brutal crackdown on Kosovo’s separatist ethnic Albanians killed around 10,000 people.
In 2008, Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia, recognized by 117 countries but not by Belgrade.