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Monday, June 8, 1998 Published at 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK

World: Europe

Fleeing to Montenegro

Resting after a journey of several days on foot across the mountains

Watch Paul Welsh's report from Montenegro
While thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo have fled into neighbouring Albania, there has also been an exodus across the border into Montenegro which, together with Serbia, makes up the Yugoslav Federation.

[ image: A temporary haven inside Montenegro]
A temporary haven inside Montenegro
Correspondent Paul Welsh visited a makeshift receiving centre for refugees - a hut in a forest clearing on the Montenegrin border - where some 200 people are arriving each day after making the dangerous journey on foot along forest tracks past Serbian police and troops.

The refugees are reluctant to talk publicly of what they have gone through because, although out of Kosovo, they are still inside the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and so remain within the reach of the Yugoslav army.

They speak of villages attacked and destroyed, and people being robbed and killed.

[ image: Serb forces have not willingly granted access to the areas the refugees have fled]
Serb forces have not willingly granted access to the areas the refugees have fled
"Words cannot describe what we have seen - it's terrifying," said one refugee. Another described how one day, "out of nowhere" 40 tanks arrived at his village.

The Red Cross in Montenegro estimates that over 3,000 refugees have so far arrived there, while a total of some 50,000 are believed to be on the move from Kosovo.

Serb security forces have barred access to the areas of Kosovo which the refugees are leaving, making it difficult to know what is happening on the ground.

It is also hard to establish exactly how many other people may be trying to make their way out.

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