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Witness to a War

August 19, 1999

Almost five months ago, on March 23, NATO airplanes dropped their first bomb on Kosovo. A few days after that, thousands of Kosovar Albanians began to be expelled from their homes by Serb forces and paramilitary troops; others were jailed or massacred. With all international humanitarian observers and journalists expelled from Kosovo, there were few witnesses to these crimes.

One of the few foreign journalists, and the only North American, who stayed in Kosovo throughout the NATO bombings was Paul Watson, reporter for the Los Angeles Times. When his colleagues were expelled from the province after the allied attacks began, he turned around at the border and went back into Kosovo, convincing Serb soldiers at every checkpoint that he had the authorization to remain. He closely escaped several bombings, was under constant threat and was arrested three times. From his hotel window in Pristina, the Kosovar capital, he watched as columns of Kosovar Albanians were marched out of their homes. His remarkable story was published on June 20, entitled "A Witness to War." He has continued to report from Yugoslavia for the Los Angeles Times.


  • Paul Watson, Los Angeles Times correspondent in Yugoslavia.

Related link:

  • Los Angeles Times–To read Paul Watson’s articles on Kosovo and on Yugoslavia, including "A Witness to a War," go to today’s complete newspaper and click on "NATO Crisis in Yugoslavia."

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