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Monday, March 29, 1999 Published at 06:35 GMT 07:35 UK

World: Europe

Kosovo bears the brunt

  • For live coverage on the crisis from BBC News 24 click here

The province of Kosovo bore the main brunt of the assaults on the fifth night of Nato bombardment in Yugoslavia.

Kosovo: Special Report
Nato missiles struck Yugoslav military barracks and airports on Sunday night, as the Western alliance moved into the second phase of its military campaign against the government of President Slobodan Milosevic.

The official Yugoslav news agency said at least 20 missiles had hit targets in the province.

Serb television has been running pictures of a fire raging in the centre of Kosovo's capital, Pristina, reportedly caused by an attack on a police station.

Bombers back in the air

Four US B-52 bombers took off from RAF Fairford in the UK on Monday morning.

Earlier, air raid sirens had sounded again in Belgrade.

The BBC's George Eykyn: Operation Allied Force enters a more intense, dangerous phase
Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev said on Monday that Nato's strikes had killed 1,000 civilians.

However, the Yugoslav authorities have not given any overall figure for casualties since the first day of the bombing.

BBC Correspondent John Simpson says it is unclear whether this is because the figures would frighten people or because they are too small to be of use as propaganda.

Among the most recent attacks reported from around Yugoslavia:

  • Nato missiles hit a military airport in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, on Sunday evening, damaging a MiG-21 fighter plane and an army vehicle.
  • Missiles hit another military airport, at Nis in south-east Serbia.
  • Two missiles hit army barracks in Djakovica in south-western Kosovo.
  • About 20 missiles landed in and around Gnjilane in south-eastern Kosovo.
  • Two explosions were heard in the town of Sombor in northern Vojvodina
  • At least six missiles exploded on the outskirts of the Kosovo capital, Pristina, early on Monday morning
  • Yugoslav television showed pictures of a police building on fire in central Pristina, and reported that the building had been hit by a Nato missile.
  • Four Serbian tanks were blown up near Malisevo in central Kosovo, Kosovo Albanian sources said.

The separatist Kosovo Liberation Army attacked Serb police in Pristina, Serb sources said.

Clinton supports new campaign

Paul Royall: A fight for the future of Kosovo
US President Bill Clinton, accusing Belgrade of "continued brutality and repression", said on Sunday that Nato must persevere with its military campaign.

"I strongly support Secretary-General [Javier] Solana's decision yesterday to move to a new phase in our planned air campaign, with a broader range of targets including air defences, military and security targets and forces in the field. "

[ image: Demonstrators at Nato HQ protest against the air strikes]
Demonstrators at Nato HQ protest against the air strikes
President Milosevic met top government and military officials in Belgrade on Sunday, and they pronounced Yugoslavia fit to continue resisting Nato air attacks, Tanjug reported.

In an apparent gesture of defiance, Belgrade switched on its streetlights at midnight, ending a blackout which had been imposed as a security measure against air raids.

'No more planes downed'

Nato has denied Serbian reports that two of its aircraft had been shot down over Kosovo on Sunday.

"We lost no planes", a military official said. "They all returned safely to their bases."

This follows the loss of a US F-117 Stealth fighter over Serbia on Saturday night.

The Russian defence ministry said it was shot down by a Russian-made anti-aircraft system Kub used by Yugoslavia.

Nato reinforcements

Nato is moving in reinforcements in the form US B-52 bombers and British Harrier jets.

But two former commanders of United Nations troops in Bosnia - French General Philippe Morillon and British General Sir Michael Rose - have said in separate interviews that Nato cannot destroy the Yugoslav military solely by air, and will have to send in ground troops.

Nato officials have repeatedly said they do not want to risk an intervention on the ground.

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