Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Tuesday, May 11, 1999 Published at 16:16 GMT 17:16 UK


World

'KLA still fighting fit'

Nato says the KLA has at leat 14 strongholds

By BBC South-East Europe Analyst Gabriel Partos

The Yugoslav Army's statement that it had completed its operations against the Kosovo Liberation Army, the KLA, amounted to an implicit claim that the KLA had been defeated.

Kosovo: Special Report
There is little doubt that in recent weeks the KLA has taken a heavy battering at the hands of Serbian security forces.

Yet reports of the KLA's demise appear to be premature.

The KLA has continued to provide some protection for the thousands of Kosovo Albanians who have fled to the more remote regions of the province.

Nato claims there are 14 such strongholds still under KLA control.

That kind of information is difficult to confirm since much of it is based on reports from the KLA itself.

But there is firm evidence of the KLA's success in at least one region - near the border with Albania where a month ago it captured a Yugoslav army barracks in the village of Kosare.

Fight back

Since then, the KLA has been able to establish - for the first time since fighting started 15 months ago - a proper supply route into Kosovo.

These days lorries carry fighters and material instead of the traditional method of crossing the border on foot and taking supplies on mules.

The KLA may have been dealt a series of severe blows, but it appears to be getting ready to fight back.

The same claim about the KLA's defeat had been made back in October when Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic averted threatened Nato air strikes by agreeing to reduce the strength of Serbian forces based in Kosovo.

On that occasion, the KLA subsequently walked back without a fight into many areas vacated by the Serbian units. And within weeks the Serbian forces were once again building up their strength and launching fresh offensives against the Kosovo Albanians.

KLA denial

The leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army inside Kosovo, Agim Ceku has dismissed statements by Belgrade that Serb forces had defeated the KLA.

He told the BBC Albanian service that the KLA was stronger than ever and it was the Serb army that was in disarray as a result of KLA activity and Nato bombing.

He also dismissed Serb statements that they were withdrawing their forces, saying there was no sign of this. He said it was a ploy to try to stop Nato bombing.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

11 May 99 | World
Nato denies Serb pull-out

10 May 99 | Europe
Albanian refugee camps 'to be cleared'

11 May 99 | Europe
US used wrong map for embassy attack

10 May 99 | Europe
Serbs 'execute 4,000'

10 May 99 | Europe
Nato opens courtroom defence

10 May 99 | Monitoring
'Partial withdrawal': The Yugoslav army statement

10 May 99 | Europe
Analysis: How Nato picks its targets

10 May 99 | World
Clinton apologises for embassy bombing

10 May 99 | Europe
China moves to control protests





Internet Links


Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Serbian Ministry of Information

Kosovo Crisis Centre

UNHCR Kosovo news

Eyewitness accounts of the bombing

OSCE

Nato


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Violence greets Clinton visit

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Bush calls for 'American internationalism'

Hurricane Lenny abates

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Russian forces pound Grozny

Senate passes US budget

Boy held after US school shooting

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

Sudan power struggle denied

Sharif: I'm innocent

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Next steps for peace

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

DiCaprio film trial begins

Memorial for bonfire dead

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

New constitution for Venezuela

Hurricane pounds Caribbean

Millennium sect heads for the hills

South African gays take centre stage

Lockerbie trial judges named