Macedonian paper alleges "mujahidin" presence on hill near Skopje
BBC Monitoring Europe (Political) - September 16, 2005, Friday

Text of report by N.M. entitled "Mujahidin cruising from Kitka to Karadzica" published by the Macedonian newspaper Dnevnik on 14 September

"Three weeks ago I went with my family to a picnic on Mount Kitka. There we noticed a group of about 30 people sitting beneath a tree. One of them, a tall person with a long beard, was reading a book to the others. There was a tent in their vicinity. When they noticed our car, they left. This was my first time going there, so I did not know what was happening. We continued our picnic. However, instead of enjoying the landscape, we listened to shooting all afternoon. The entire mountain was shaking."

Encouraged by yesterday's article in Dnevnik , this is what a middle-aged Skopje citizen narrated about his visit to Kitka .

The manager of the Alpinist Home and the police denied this and yesterday's reports that the Kitka Alpinist Home has been converted into a military base for unknown uniformed persons who are practising firing weapons.

Numerous climbers who have been on the mountain over the past few weekends have confirmed that uniformed and armed people, including women, are stationed at the Alpinist Home. They have heard shots and the unknown individuals have prohibited them from even approaching the building. Manager Petar Bocvarov, who is also a member of the Alpinist Home presidency, yesterday rejected the climbers' testimonies, calling them liars.

The MVR [Macedonian Interior Ministry] for its part is still verifying the citizens' claims.

Other citizens also called our editorial staff and claimed that a group of people in black uniforms had been roaming between Mount Kitka and Mount Karadzica for a longer time. Dnevnik 's unverified reports indicate that this is a group of mujahidin who were also seen in the Skopje village of Kondovo. Eyewitnesses say that this group is moving around in this region and that it also consists of Albanians. However, when contacting the local residents they are use an Arabic-language interpreter.

Climbers also say that the group of armed people in black uniforms has also been seen on Mount Sar.

SOURCE: Dnevnik, Skopje, in Macedonian 14 Sep 05 p3

Copyright 2005 British Broadcasting Corporation
Posted for Fair Use only.