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Adem Jashari (November 28, 1955 – March 6, 1998), local commander of Kosovo Liberation Army. He is venerated by many Albanians as a freedom fighter in the cause of Kosovo independence.
Adem was born to an Albanian teacher Shaban Jashari, on 28 November 1955, the day which coincides with the independence day of Albania. His birthplace, Prekazi Ulët is in the region of Drenica.
On 2 July 1990, Kosovo’s parliament declared independence from Serbia and adopted a constitution for the new Republic of Kosovo. At about this time Adem Jashari soon moved to Republic of Albania to train with the first troops of the Kosovo Liberation Army formally known as the "UÇK".
Jashari family fought Serb forces in Kosovo since early '90s but this fact was kept hidden from the general public by both Albanian 'moderated' politicians and the Serb government, in order to preserve the status-quo. The first battle between Adem Jashari and his friends against Serb forces took place on the morning of 30 December 1991. Jashari's house was surrounded by a large number of Serb army and police troops demanding Adem's surrender. A fierce battle ensued where Serb troops had to withdraw due to the strong resistance provided by Adem and friends . The Jashari's residence in Prekaz was next attacked by Serbian police forces on January 22, 1998. The attack was repelled when, according to Shaban Jashari (Adem's father), "friends from the woods" came to help. On March 5, 1998, Prekaz was attacked again by large Serbian army and police forces in a "prepared and determined manner". A second ring of troops was formed to prevent any possible help coming to Jashari family. It is estimated that 58 ethnic Albanians were killed in the attack including 28 women and children from Jashari family. The exact number varies depending upon sources. In this attack Adem Jashari was killed. According to the only survivor of the massacre, one of Adem's nieces, "bali Adem" died singing the Albanian national anthem. Local villagers say that he shot himself to protect his honour and not get killed by the Serb army. As a matter of fact, there was only one bullet wound in his right jaw, showing that Adem possibly shot himself.
The behaviour and distinctive nationalism of Jashari family will not come as a surprise to anyone with good knowledge on Kosovo, and especially with good knowledge on Drenica region. This is the region of Kosovo well-known for its resistance to different occupiers and regimes. This is where people like Azem and Shote Galica (husband and wife) came from, who had fought Serb, Ottoman as well as Austro-Hungarian forces in the period between two world wars and Shaban Polluzha who fought Tito's partisans in 1945. But the most influential single event in Adem's life which would set him on the definitive course of his destiny is the resistance that Tahir Meha and his father provided on May 13, 1981 to Yugoslav army special units in their "kulla" (residence) in Adem's village, Prekaz i Ulet . This event, according to people who knew him, finally shaped his thinking and his political philosophy.
Till this day he is remembered upon all of Albania and Kosovo. In 2004, Ibrahim Rugova, president of Kosovo awarded him the highest order Hero of Kosovo along with Isa Boletini, Hasan Prishtina, and Bajram Curri