“Drowning boys” story a blood libel

In addition to spinning the organized Albanian pogrom of Serbs as “ethnic clashes,” newspapers and wire services include in their reports a claim that Albanians rose up after three Albanian boys drowned in the Ibar river “because Serbs chased them with dogs.”
The story appeared in Albanian newspaper Wednesday, just as the pogrom began, but UNMIK officials – in the past all too eager to accept Albanian ‘grievances’ – this time issued a clear denial. Two boys did drown, and one is still missing, but there is no indication whatsoever that Serbs or dogs played any role in their death.
According to my sources, UNMIK”s denunciation of this accusation as false has been public knowledge since around 1700 local time Wednesday. So far, none of the agency or newspaper reports have quoted it, though all mention the Albanian allegation.
But if, as many UNMIK officials say, this pogrom is obviously organized and premeditated, then the “drowning story” is just a deliberate piece of inflammatory propaganda, aimed to both incite the mob and create a justification for outside observers. Encountering fertile minds in both instances, it seems to have succeeded splendidly.