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Kosovo war crimes were widespread

BOSTON (AP) -- Killings, beatings, sexual assaults and torture by Serb forces of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo were widespread and far more than just isolated attacks, according to a survey by a physicians' group.

Physicians for Human Rights interviewed 1,180 refugees and found that one in every three households endured some kind of physical abuse."What our study clearly speaks to was this was part of a wide-scale, methodical, brutal pattern of abuse," said Dr. Allen Keller, one of the study's authors.

The 148-page study, released Tuesday, is believed to be the first comprehensive survey of Kosovo Albanians.

A team of nine physicians and human rights workers interviewed the refugees in 31 camps in Albania and Macedonia over a two-week period in late April and early May. The average household was made up of about 10 people.

The overwhelming majority of refugees interviewed -- 91 percent -- said they left Kosovo because Serbs forced them out and not because of NATO's bombing campaign, as the Serbs have alleged, the report said.

While most refugees interviewed didn't have members of their own households killed, more than one in three either watched Serb forces kill someone or saw bodies of people they believed had been murdered by the Serbs.

A 19-year-old housewife from Medvec reported seeing five bodies on the side of the road.

"The bodies were in a line, every 100 meters," she told investigators.