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Monday, December 14, 1998 Published at 19:01 GMT

World: Europe

Thirty dead in Kosovo

Serb police maintain a strong presence in Pristina

The Serbian authorities say their forces killed at least 30 ethnic Albanians and injured 12 in a clash in Kosovo - the worst incident since a ceasefire was called two months ago.

Jackie Rowland in Belgrade: "no casualties on the Yugoslav side"
The authorities say their border guards encountered an armed group wearing uniforms of the Kosovo Liberation Army, trying to enter Kosovo illegally from Albania.

According to the Serbian Ministry of Information, the shootout happened on Monday near the border outposts of Gorozup and Liken, 70km (45 miles) southwest of Pristina.

It said the clash lasted around five hours and explosions were heard from three villages that had been sealed off by police.

Large quantities of weapons and supplies were also reported to have been seized.

The incident resulted in the highest single number of casualties since a US-brokered informal truce in October halted the fighting in the separatist province in southern Serbia.

The clashes also came as a US envoy to Kosovo resumed talks on Monday with the province's ethnic Albanian negotiators.

Christopher Hill, whose proposals for a political settlement for Kosovo have been rejected by both sides, met with negotiators in Pristina on Monday.

He plans to travel to Belgrade on Tuesday to be joined by another US envoy Richard Holbrooke for more talks with Serbian Government authorities.

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