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Friday, May 21, 1999 Published at 12:15 GMT 13:15 UK


World: Europe

Allies say bombing goes on

Vehicles ablaze in Belgrade after a Nato raid

Nato has said it will keep up its air campaign until President Milosevic meets its demands, despite fresh doubts over the conduct of the campaign.

Kosovo: Special Report
Latest reports say Nato planes bombed a prison in north-western Kosovo, where a number of rebels from the Kosovo Liberation Army were being held.

The Serb authorities say at least 10 people were killed in the attack.

German appeal

Reports of the attack came as Germany called on Nato to re-examine its targets after a raid on Belgrade resulted in damage to the Swiss embassy and ambassador's residence,


Rageh Omaar, BBC World Affairs Correspndent: "Attention has focused on diplomatic efforts to find a way out of the crisis"
The ambassador was holding a diplomatic reception at the time.

There were no casualties, but many of the residence's windows were blown in by the force of the blast.

The United States has apologised to Switzerland for the incident, which came a day after a stray missile struck a hospital in Belgrade, killing three people and damaging several other diplomatic buildings.

The Swiss mission in Belgrade currently represents the interests of several countries in Yugoslavia, including the United States.

Divisions denied

The reports of divisions over how to pursue the campaign have been dismissed by the United States and Britain.


[ image: No talk of a rift]
No talk of a rift
The American Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, and her British counterpart, Robin Cook, told the BBC that both governments were determined to maintain the bombing and were not, at present, considering an Italian proposal for an early suspension of the air campaign.

There have been differences between Nato countries about when to have a pause in the campaign.

The German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, at a meeting with the Swiss foreign minister in Bonn, said there was an urgent need to discuss Nato's bombing strategy, including damage to the Swedish, Spanish and Swiss embassies.

Diplomatic marathon

In Moscow, marathon talks between the Russian special envoy, Viktor Chernomyrdin, and his US and European counterparts have broken up with no clear sign of progress.


[ image:  ]
However, the American Deputy Secretary of State, Strobe Talbott, said work was continuing, and he and the Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari, would return to Moscow next week for further negotiations.

Earlier in the week, a joint Russian-Yugoslav statement proposed that a diplomatic solution to the conflict should be negotiated within the framework of the United Nations.


Stephen Gibbs reports that Mr Chernomyrdin said he would find a solution
In another development, the president of Serbia's sister republic, Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, has accused President Milosevic of planning a military takeover after the Yugoslav army seized control of the borders.

Yugoslav soldiers are reported to have set up checkpoints on all main roads into Montenegro, blocking imports of raw materials, confiscating humanitarian aid and preventing Westerners from entering.

Weather curtails strikes

In its latest briefing, Nato said that low cloud over Kosovo on Thursday, day 58 of the air campaign, had significantly cutailed its activities.

About 300 sorties were flown, but there had been only 40 specific strike sorties, and 17 missions against air defence targets.

Targets attacked included a surface-to-air missile support facility in Belgrade, petroleum storage facilities at Batajnica airfield, fuel stores on the outskirts of Belgrade and at Sombor and Smederevo, and ammunition storage depots at Vrdnik and Sremska Mitrovica.

Nato said further operations were under way following a significant improvement in the weather.

(Click here to see a map of the most recent Nato strikes)

Annan urges UN role


[ image: A moral-boosting concert was held for refugees in Kukes]
A moral-boosting concert was held for refugees in Kukes
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has been visiting camps for Kosovo refugees in northern Albania.

He said the UN should play a central role in finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Mr Annan said that under the circumstances he thought the conditions in the camps were reasonably good, despite criticism a few days ago that the UN refugee agency had not been doing enough to help victims of the war.

He was surrounded by applauding refugees in Kukes, temporary home to 100,000 Kosovars, the largest concentration of nearly 800,000 ethnic Albanians who have fled Kosovo since March.


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Internet Links


Nato

Serbian Ministry of Information

Kosovo Crisis Centre

UNHCR Kosovo news

Oxfam in Kosovo

Eyewitness accounts of the bombing


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