Friday, October 2, 1998 Published at 09:05 GMT 10:05 UK
UN condemns Kosovo atrocities
The massacres have accelerated moves towards military action
The United Nations Security Council has condemned the massacres of ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo, and called on Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to punish those responsible.
The council also expressed alarm that fighting was continuing despite demands it cease and that thousands of civilians were still being forced to leave their homes.
But it postponed discussion on any possible military action against Serbia until early next week, to allow it to consider a report by the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, on whether Belgrade has complied with UN demands for a ceasefire in the province.
"It looks as though Milosevic will only understand the use of force or the threat of the use of force. That is what we are now preparing - if it's necessary, we'll use it," he said in a BBC interview.
But he says Western diplomats are hinting that Nato may be prepared to act either with or without the UN's blessing.
Americans urged to leave Serbia
Meanwhile, the US Government has advised Americans in the Yugoslav Federation to leave because of possible Nato military action against Serbia.
"American citizens should not travel to the region and those who are in Serbia and Montenegro should consider leaving the country," said State Department spokesman James Rubin.
More than 10 countries have committed aircraft so far.
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has made clear that Western powers still hope Milosevic would agree to negotiations and accept the conditions outlined by both the United Nations and Nato.
"The combined threat of the use of force and diplomacy is the best way of proceeding," Mrs Albright said.
But Secretary of Defence, William Cohen, asked when Nato military strikes could begin, said bluntly: "Soon."
"We have to send the strongest possible message to Milosevic that we will not tolerate any more of these atrocities," he said.
Serbs deny massacres
In particular, the outspoken Deputy Prime Minister, Vojislav Seselj, accused the BBC of being part of a conspiracy to harden public opinion in the West, and warned of reprisals around the world if Nato forces attacked Serbia.
A Serb television report described the BBC accounts of atrocities committed by police in Kosovo as lies and manipulation.
The comments from Belgrade came after the emergence of evidence of a third Kosovo massacre this week.
A monitor from the group said one man appeared to have been shot at close range and another had had his nose cut off.
Earlier the bodies of 18 ethnic Albanians were found in the central Kosovo village of Gornje Obrinje and another 14 corpses were located in Vucitern.
Local people said the killings were carried out by Serbian police.