Vukovar – the place of special piety on 18 November commemorated the 24th anniversary…
Combined tank and infantry forces of the Yugoslav People’s Army, supported by Serbian paramilitary units, launched an attack on Škabrnja on the fateful 18th November 1991.
A convoy of tanks, armoured personnel carriers and infantry trucks passed through Zemunik Gornji and came to the western entrance into Škabrnja. They took positions and turned their tank guns towards Croatian posts. At the same time, another convoy of tanks and infantry came from the direction of Biljani Donji, down the Benkovac-Škabrnja-Zadar road, and took positions on Marinovci, the northern entrance to Škabrnja, towards Ražovljeva glavica.
At 7:30 a.m., Croatian defenders’ positions on the Škabrnja-Nadin line were attacked with mixed artillery, armoured vehicles and tanks. The attacks were centred on the western entrance to Škabrnja, hamlet Ambar and Ražovljeva glavica, where strong mixed-artillery paramilitary units and Yugoslav People’s Army’s forces were engaged with intense fire support from enemy outposts and their air force.
While the defenders of Škabrnja put up a bold resistance, the Yugoslav People’s Army engaged helicopter troops, which landed on Jabuka, southwest of St Mary’s Church. With the help of strong mixed-artillery forces, they took possession of St Luke’s Church and the adjoining cemetery, thus cutting off the Prkos-Škabrnja road line. The other lines of Škarbnja’s defence continued resisting the aggressors’ attacks. In the other direction, at the centre of aggressors’ attacks, the defence resisted until 1:30 p.m., when the defenders retreated to their fall-back positions on the foot of Ražovljeva glavica. The members of paramilitary formations and the Yugoslav People’s Army reached the centre of the village and the Church of Mary’s Assumption in the evening, at roughly 4:30 p.m., using captured defenders and civilians as a human shield in front of their tanks.
Civilians, particularly women, children and the elderly who had hidden in basements and other sheltered areas, were violently dragged out, murdered and slain…
Source: Škabrnja Municipality