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Sunday, May 9, 1999 Published at 00:50 GMT 01:50 UK


World: Europe

Nato strikes continue

A bridge in Nis destroyed hours after the embassy bombing

Further Nato attacks have been reported in Yugoslavia as protests continue in China over the bombing of the country's embassy in Belgrade.

Kosovo: Special Report
Serb media reports said Nato planes had hit a bridge close to the Greek consulate in the southern Serbian city of Nis, injuring seven people.

The official Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said 13 people were wounded in an attack on Kragujevac, southeast of Belgrade.

Air raid sirens sounded across Belgrade on Saturday night, but there have so far been no reports of explosions.

Protests continue

For a second day, hundreds of students chanting anti-American and anti-Nato slogans marched on the US embassy in Beijing, massing outside on streets littered with rocks and broken bottles from earlier protests.

Correspondents said the authorities appear to be deliberately encouraging the action as buses packed with students headed out of campuses across the city.

The residence of the US Consul General in the south-western city of Chengdu was stormed and partially burned.

The Chinese press has carried front-page pictures of the victims of the embassy bombing.

Thousands of Chinese took to the streets of their cities on Saturday, with stones and lumps of concrete thrown at American and British embassies and consulates across the country.

Diplomatic track continues

As Nato countries try to contain the damage from the embassy bombing, Russia's special Balkans envoy, Viktor Chernomyrdin, said on Saturday that the conflict must be resolved by political means as quickly as possible.

He was speaking after talks in Bonn with the German Chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, about the G-8 countries' outline peace plan for Kosovo.

Both the chancellor and Mr Chernomyrdin later held separate talks with the Kosovo Albanian leader, Ibrahim Rugova.


[ image: German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder welcomes Ibrahim Rugova to Bonn]
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder welcomes Ibrahim Rugova to Bonn
Mr Chernomyrdin dismissed reports that he planned to meet Yugoslav leaders in Belgrade following his talks in Germany. He told reporters that he was expecting to return to Moscow.

Mistaken target

Earlier, the Russian President Yeltsin condemned the Chinese embassy bombing as a violation of international law and called for an immediate end to the air strikes.

Nato said its pilots hit the embassy with precision-guided bombs by accident, mistaking the embassy for a legitimate military target.

Three people are reported to have died in the incident.

According to the BBC correspondent in Washington, the embassy bombing is going to make it harder to avoid a Chinese veto if and when a peace deal comes before the United Nations Security Council.

Serbian state television reported that Yugoslavia's President Milosevic has conveyed his deepest sympathy to China over the deaths.

At an emergency session of the UN Security Council, the Chinese ambassador accused Nato of carrying out a war crime.


Nato Secretary General Javier Solana: "Deep regret for the tragic mistake"
President Clinton has offered deep regrets to the people of China, but said the bombing was an accident, not a barbaric act.

He echoed the words of the Nato Secretary-General, Javier Solana, in saying that the incident would not deter the alliance from continuing its air campaign.

(Click here to see a map of Belgrade showing the embassy bombing)

KLA attempts to take Djakovica

Kosovo Albanians say the Kosovo Liberation Army is involved in heavy fighting with Serbian forces in the town of Djakovica, close to the Albanian border.

Some reports say the fighting has been going on for several days since the KLA captured a military barracks near the town.

Correspondents say the latest clashes appear to be an attempt by the guerilla rebels to take over Djakovica.

KLA leaders have said in Tirana that the G8 peace plan falls far short of their expectations.


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